Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, has lashed out at President Donald Trump in a newly-released interview, accusing him of putting the newspaper’s reporters’ in harm’s way by branding them as “enemies of the people.”
“I think his personal attacks on reporters, including Maggie [Haberman], are pretty awful and pretty unpresidential,” Baquet told The Guardian. “I think personal attacks on journalists, when he calls them names, I think he puts their lives at risk.
“I think that when he actually calls reporters names, says they’re un-American, says they’re enemies of the people… that phrase has a deep history. I think when he says that, it is an appalling attack on the press,” he added.
Pressed whether he believes the president is racist, Baquet, the Times’ first African-American executive editor, said: “I don’t know.”
“I think Donald Trump says racially divisive things. I think that’s a little bit different. I’m not in his head enough to know whether he says them because he wants to stoke his base,” he said.
Baquet’s comments mirror those made by Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger, who told President Trump in a meeting that “this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.”
President Trump has repeatedly criticized the Times for its slanted coverage of his presidency, particularly for its reliance on anonymous sources. He has called the newspaper “fake news” and demanded several of its reporters step down.
“I call for the Resignation of everybody at The New York Times involved in the Kavanaugh SMEAR story, and while you’re at it, the Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is just as phony! They’ve taken the Old Grey Lady and broken her down, destroyed her virtue and ruined her reputation,” the president tweeted in response to a purported bombshell report on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that was later walked back. “She can never recover, and will never return to Greatness, under current Management. The Times is DEAD, long live The New York Times!”
BOMBSHELL: New York Times corrects Kavanaugh smear to note alleged victim does not recall any such incident. pic.twitter.com/yigeOyOCzo
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) September 16, 2019
Under Baquet’s leadership, the Times has not only garnered criticism for its anti-Trump reporting but for employing reporters who have made racist and antisemitic social media posts.
Earlier this year, a Breitbart News investigation exposed various racist and antisemitic tweets by the newspaper’s politics editor Tom Wright-Piersanti. Over the last five years, Wright-Piersant wrote anti-Jewish tweets such as one posted in 2010 that read: “I was going to say ‘Crappy Jew Year,’ but one of my resolutions is to be less anti-Semitic. So…. HAPPY Jew Year. You Jews.”
The Times editor also made bigoted statements about Indians, writing in December 2009: “There are four indian guys with mohawks in this one class, and each one is a douche in his own awful way. I hate mohawk Indians.”
Following Breitbart News’ report, Wright-Piersant apologized for his “offensive” tweets and removed several of them from Twitter. While the Times said it would decide what course of action to take regarding the editor, he appears to be still employed there.