Pro-Israel Jewish leaders slammed the New York Times on Thursday in the wake of a Breitbart News report that detailed how a senior political editor, Tom Wright-Piersanti, had a history of racist and antisemitic tweets.
Breitbart News’ Matt Boyle noted that Wright-Piersanti had tweeted “Crappy Jew Year” on Jan. 1, 2010, among other antisemitic statements; and had also made fun of Indian-Americans repeatedly. Ironically, the Times had printed an editorial Thursday accusing President Donald Trump of antisemitism for saying that Jews who voted for a Democratic Party that protected antisemitic officials were “disloyal” (to themselves, not to the United States).
On Thursday, Wright-Piersanti erased tweets, locked his account, and tweeted: “I have deleted tweets from a decade ago that are offensive. I am deeply sorry.” Former New York state assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat who has occasionally campaigned for pro-Israel Republicans , tweeted: “Apology not accepted. Deleting tweets doesn’t equal a change in ideology. Go ahead and write a full length mea culpa, explain the errors of your thinking and how/why it changed, and maybe then we’ll believe you’re not the Antisemite reflected in your previous tweets!”
Apology not accepted. Deleting tweets doesn’t equal a change in ideology. Go ahead and write a full length mea culpa, explain the errors of your thinking and how/why it changed, and maybe then we’ll believe you’re not the Antisemite reflected in your previous tweets!
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) August 22, 2019
The Republican Jewish Coalition dinged the Times for its hypocrisy, noting that while it was attempting to frame Trump as a racist and antisemite, it had racism and antisemitism in its midst:
The @nytimes says it is going to target the President over racial issues. Turns out the Political Editor has a disturbing history of racist tweets, including anti-Semitic tweets. https://t.co/cOdTC7C0CW
— RJC (@RJC) August 22, 2019
And the Zionist Organization of America, the country’s oldest pro-Israel organization, demanded that Wright-Piersanti be fired:
‘Crappy Jew Year’: New York Times Editor Antisemitism, Racism Exposed https://t.co/dwaQQHJvgG
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 22, 2019
Hours after the Breitbart News story ran, the Times indicated that its editor’s tweets violated its standards, but had not indicated a course of action. Earlier this year, the Times came under fire for publishing an antisemitic cartoon. Last year, it hired Sarah Jeong, a writer with a history of racist anti-white tweets, to its editorial board.
The White House also responded to the story Thursday, telling Breitbart News it was “disgusted” by the Times.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.