New York Times, Under Fire For Ousting Editor Lauren Wolfe, Denies Anyone Was Fired Over a Tweet
The New York Times, facing increasing criticism over the firing of longtime war journalist Lauren Wolfe, said in a statement Sunday that the reason Wolfe is no longer with the Times is not because of what she posted on Twitter.
“There’s a lot of inaccurate information circulating on Twitter,” a Times spokesperson told Mediaite. “For privacy reasons we don’t get into the details of personnel matters but we can say that we didn’t end someone’s employment over a single tweet. Out of respect for the individuals involved we don’t plan to comment further.”
The spokesperson added that Wolfe “was not a full-time employee, nor did she have a contract.”
Wolfe was terminated from her editor position at the Times after tweeting that she had “chills” watching President Joe Biden’s plane land in Washington ahead of his inauguration, journalist Yashar Ali first reported.
Wolfe had also criticized outgoing President Donald Trump, calling what she said was his decision not to send a military plane to bring Biden to Washington for the inauguration “mortifying” and “childish.” She later deleted the tweet after learning that Biden had chosen to take his own plane.
The story has since gained traction on social media, with many calling for the Times to re-hire Wolfe, and for people to cancel their subscriptions to the newspaper.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 24, 2021
This week alone, people were fired from the New York Times, the Niskanen Center, and Fox News for making conservatives mad https://t.co/hSNggiGT9N
— Adam Serwer ? (@AdamSerwer) January 23, 2021
NYT should not have fired Lauren @Wolfe321, especially when other journos at the paper have done far worse recently and kept their jobs.
Knee-jerk firings in response to online harassment campaigns only further embolden harassers — and put ALL journalists at risk. https://t.co/GB6O1VMMQo
— Felicia Sonmez (@feliciasonmez) January 24, 2021
I don’t have anything smart to say about the Lauren Wolfe situation, but wow the Times management seem completely out of their depth for our time
— Emmanuel Felton (@emmanuelfelton) January 24, 2021
Absolutely shocking that @nytimes fired Lauren Wolfe for her tweet when Thomas Friedman and Bret Stephenson together have fallen on their faces countless times all over their pages; forget about Twitter. Really shocking gender bias, caving to bad faith criticism and just cruelty.
— Sulome (@SulomeAnderson) January 22, 2021
According to Ali, Wolfe was “tasked with mostly editing stories that were on the NYT live page (which were constantly updated) related to the pandemic and breaking news events.”
“Most of the criticism of her tweet came from conservatives,” Ali added.
In response to calls to unsubscribe from the Times, Wolfe tweeted in defense of the newspaper, saying its “journalism is some of the most important [and] best in the world[.]”
Hi all. I truly appreciate everyone’s support but I need to ask you a favor: PLEASE don’t unsubscribe from @nytimes. I have loved this paper and its mission my whole life. Their journalism is some of the most important & best in the world, & they need to be read widely. Thank you
— Lauren Wolfe (@Wolfe321) January 24, 2021
Wolfe, who said she has received multiple threats since making headlines, has reported from multiple war zones. She has written for The Atlantic, The Guardian, and Foreign Policy magazine, and was the director of WMC Women Under Siege, a journalism project that focuses on sexual violence. She was also a senior editor at the Committee to Protect Journalists. She previously reported on 9/11 for the Times in connection with Times-affiliated books on the attack and on the World Trade Center.
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