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‘Protect Sarah Jeong’: Journalists, Pundits Defend NYTimes Writer’s History of Bigoted Posts

Sarah Jeong
James Bareham/The Verge

Various verified Twitter personalities coalesced to defend Sarah Jeong — the New York Times‘s latest hire — on Thursday following recent circulation of tweets in which she derided whites.

The New York Times issued the following statement:

We hired Sarah Jeong because of the exceptional work she has done covering the internet and technology at a range of respected publications.

Her journalism and the fact that she is a young Asian woman have made her a subject of frequent online harassment. For a period of time she responded to that harassment by imitating the rhetoric of her harassers. She sees now that this approach only served to feed the vitriol that we too often see on social media. She regrets it, and The Times does not condone it.

We had candid conversations with Sarah as part of our thorough vetting process, which included a review of her social media history. She understands that this type of rhetoric is not acceptable at the The Times and we are confident that she will be an important voice for the editorial board moving forward.

Assorted Twitterati with blue check mark profiles offered defenses of — and deflections away from — Jeong’s derision of whites.

The Daily Beast’s Ken Klippenstein alluded to the New York Times’s recent hiring of Bret Stephens, indirectly referring to Stephen as “an unabashed climate denier”:

The New Yorker‘s Helen Rosner disparaged unspecified “motherf*****s” as inferior to Jeong:

Josh Shahryar, a self-described “refugee writer” with bylines at Qatar’s state-run English-language news media outlet and the UK-based Guardian dismissed Jeong’s recently highlighted tweets as “trolling”:

Media Matters for America alumnus Oliver Willis accused “the people attacking” Jeong as “the same ones” who threaten non-white persons on Twitter:

S.E. Smith, a self-described “essayist” focusing on “social issues like reproductive justice, disability rights, class, [and] LGBQT subjects,” described criticisms of Jeong as “racist”:

City University of New York professor Angus Johnson described Jeong’s highlighted tweets as “parodies”:

Eugene Gu, a medical doctor and contributor to HuffPost and The Hill, described Jeong as a victim of “trolling abuse”:

Owen Ellickson, a producer of TV series It’s Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaOffice Space, and The Office, framed Jeong’s critics as hypocritical on “racist” tweets:

Wajahat Ali, a New York Times op-ed contributor and alumnus of the Guardian, called for his followers to “protect” Jeong:

MSNBC’s and the New York Times‘s Mike Isaac praised Jeong:

SBNation’s Graham MacAree parroted the neo-Marxist meme that it is impossible for minorities to be racist.

News media observers will recall ABC’s termination of Roseanne Barr from her eponymous TV series following her description of Valerie Jarrett as a cross between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes.

 

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.

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