The New York Times is standing behind its hiring of an editor who has had a number of very controversial tweets in the not-so-distant past.
For a journalist who began her career as an attorney, Sarah Jeong appears to be extremely careless with her words.
The new New York Times tech editor has a fairly recent online past that is causing much commotion and some public outrage.
As recently as 2015, Jeong tweeted a number of virulently racist remarks, most of which – even without their racist content – are not fit for family audiences.
The controversial editor’s favorite target was white men, who – to paraphrase – are miserable, groveling goblins who should be extinct.
To add insult to injury, the Times knew about the tweets before it hired her.
Curtis Houck of Media Research Center contends that the Times is not fessing up to its problematic decision to let Jeong join its editorial team.
“The New York Times is perfectly standing by her – as if they knew about this beforehand,” Houck pointed out. “They say that she was attacked first … or something else. There's just all these excuses.”
In a press release, the Times justified hiring Jeong.
"The fact that she is a young Asian woman has made her a subject of frequent online harassment,” New York’s biggest daily claimed in the release. “For a period of time, she responded to that harassment by imitating the rhetoric of her harassers."
To Houck this excuse resembles a strange cross between Stockholm Syndrome and some sick cultural appropriation, and – more to the point – a hypocritical stance.
“This is not the pattern that they take with other people – that they have taken in the past – and that's where the issue is … and why people are upset,” he stressed.
Earlier this year in February, the very same New York Times fired an essayist named Quinn Norton – whom it had hired earlier that same day – after discovering a series of tweets in which it claims that she used slurs aimed at homosexuals.
Houck argues that the only difference between the two is that Norton offended homosexuals, while Jeong only insulted white people.