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Journos Blast NY Times For Reassigning Ali Watkins: ‘Sucks That the NYT’ Shamed Their Own Reporter

Journalists across the country bashed The New York Times for reassigning reporter Ali Watkins for her past affair with an ex-Senate staffer accused of leaking stories to the media.

BuzzFeed News spokesperson Matt Mittenthal condemned the handling of the issue, saying the Times “devoted extensive resources to publicly dissecting the private life of a young female reporter” instead of prioritizing the federal government’s seizure of her data, which included communications records.


Rosie Gray, a White House correspondent for The Atlantic, also voiced her disappointment in Watkins’ move from her old beat in Washington to New York, calling it an effort to shame her while echoing Mittenthal’s remarks.


Supporting Gray, GQ reporter Julia Ioffe criticized the paper’s differing treatment of its star correspondent Glenn Thrush, who was hit with allegations of sexual misconduct last year.

Here’s some addition reaction from journalists on Twitter:

Watkins came under scrutiny after news broke of her three-year romantic relationship with former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer James Wolfe, which ended before she accepted a position at the Times. However, serious questions were raised because Watkins had been reporting on the committee during the affair.

Dean Baquet, the Times‘ executive editor, said in a newsroom memo that he believes Watkins’ reassignment would serve as a “fresh start.”

[Image via screengrab]

Follow Amy Russo on Twitter: @amymrusso

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