New York Times Issues Rare Statement Slamming Tucker Carlson For ‘Calculated and Cruel’ Criticism of Taylor Lorenz
The New York Times issued a rare statement Wednesday responding to comments from Fox News host Tucker Carlson about one of its reporters, Taylor Lorenz, who had issued a plea to support women facing online harassment, in connection with International Women’s Day.
“In a now familiar move, Tucker Carlson opened his show last night by attacking a journalist,” the Times said in a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday. “It was a calculated and cruel tactic, which he regularly deploys to unleash a wave of harassment and vitriol at his intended target. Taylor Lorenz is a talented New York Times journalist doing timely and essential reporting. Journalists should be able to do their jobs without facing harassment.”
Fox News responded to the New York Times in its own statement: “No public figure or journalist is immune to legitimate criticism of their reporting, claims or journalistic tactics.”
The Fox News host’s criticism of Lorenz, who covers social media for the Times, came after she tweeted a request for support of women facing online harassment.
“For international women’s day please consider supporting women enduring online harassment,” Lorenz tweeted early Tuesday morning. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that the harassment and smear campaign I’ve had to endure over the past year has destroyed my life. No one should have to go through this.”
For international women’s day please consider supporting women enduring online harassment. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the harassment and smear campaign I’ve had to endure over the past year has destroyed my life. No one should have to go through this.
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) March 9, 2021
If you know anyone dealing with harassment/abuse please support them, never downplay it, or tell them to ignore it or ask them to rebut baseless attacks on your podcast for clicks. Using someone else’s deep pain and suffering for clicks/listens is offensive, gross and cruel
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) March 9, 2021
Tuesday evening, Carlson, who Lorenz did not mention in her International Women’s Day tweets, criticized her call for awareness of online harassment of women.
After commenting on Lorenz’s age and accomplishments in her field, Carlson apparently chalked her success up to chance. “You’d think Taylor Lorenz would be grateful for the remarkable good luck she’s had,” Carlson said. “But no.”
“Destroyed her life?” Carlson said on his prime time Fox News show. “By most people’s standards, Taylor Lorenz would seem to have a pretty good life. One of the best in the country, actually. Lots of people are suffering right now, but no one’s suffering quite as much as Taylor Lorenz is suffering. People have criticized her opinions on the internet, and it’s destroyed her life. Let’s pause on International Women’s Day and recognize that. You thought female Uighurs had it bad. You haven’t talked to Taylor Lorenz.”
His focus on Lorenz came toward the end of a segment in which Carlson took aim at several prominent women, including Oprah Winfrey (“she sees herself as a victim too”), Meghan Markle (“a narcissist”), Michelle Obama (“When will you get the credit you’re so sorely due for all of your remarkable achievements?”), and Hillary Clinton (“Because we didn’t hand her the keys to the most powerful country in the world, she believes she’s been deeply wronged.”).
“Rich people are oppressed, period,” Carlson said, his trademark sarcasm in full force. “And if you claim otherwise, they will use their total powerlessness to get you fired.”
“You see this attitude everywhere all of a sudden – the most powerful claiming to be powerless and wronged,” Carlson later said, apparently sensing an epidemic of prominent women falsely claiming to have been harassed.
After the segment aired, journalists came to Lorenz’s defense on Twitter.
I’m so sorry that he’s doing this.
— Molly Jong-Fast? (@MollyJongFast) March 10, 2021
This is actually horrific. I’m sorry you have to deal with this.
— Laurie Segall (@LaurieSegall) March 10, 2021
Woah this is crazy. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all of this… it’s sad how someone can spin someone’s lived experienced into continued harassment. ?♀️
— Shira Lazar (@shiralazar) March 10, 2021
an international women’s day gift ? as ever, you deserve none of this (except a comparison to Michelle Obama – what a gift no matter the giver!)
keep going, you are a real beacon!
— Meghan Morris (@MeghanEMorris) March 10, 2021
So sorry you have to go through this!
— Delece Smith-Barrow (@DeleceWrites) March 10, 2021
Fox News, for its part, ran a piece Tuesday about how critics of Lorenz “mocked” her after posting about her experience.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, a frequent guest on Tucker Carlson Tonight, was first to criticize the Times reporter on Twitter.
Taylor Lorenz is a star reporter with the most influential newspaper in the US, arguably the west. Her work regularly appears on its front page.
Her attempt to claim this level of victimhood is revolting: she should try to find out what real persecution of journalists entails. pic.twitter.com/ZV0lm9CIqh
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 9, 2021
By midday Wednesday, Lorenz made it clear she was moving on, posting a link to her latest story, but also taking one final shot at Greenwald – a call for the “Glenn Greenwald stop tweeting about me challenge”.
I’m not doing another day of this, some of us have actual jobs and this is a work week. Here’s my latest story why don’t you guys talk about that https://t.co/C1zKM4oaZV
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) March 10, 2021
This story has been updated with comment from Fox News.
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