August 3, 2018

New York Times Defends Sarah Jeong

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

after social media criticism of her tweets from several years ago that were derogatory of white people.” (AP News)

See past issues

Many on the left are dismissing the outcry over Jeong as disingenuous, and do not think the Times should have responded.

“From cries about ‘ethics in journalism’ to ‘fake news,’ journalists have been increasingly targeted by people acting in bad faith who do not care about the work they do, the challenges they face, or the actual context of their statements. Online trolls and harassers want us, the Times, and other newsrooms to waste our time by debating their malicious agenda... The strategy is to divide and conquer by forcing newsrooms to disavow their colleagues one at a time. This is not a good-faith conversation; it’s intimidation.”

The Verge

“Making jokes about white people isn’t the same as making racist jokes about black people, or Asian people, or Jews, or gay people... there has never been a government-endorsed legal or societal campaign of oppression against whites. White people can be oppressed by other means, such as through gender or economics, but whites in the U.S. have never been systematically oppressed on the basis of their race alone.”

Splinter News

“The newspaper’s response about its new staffer will only help fuel the sort of faux-outrage campaigns the trolls are waging... [They] have been orchestrating outrage campaigns to harass, intimidate and discredit journalists and their work in the hopes of getting them fired. The Times, at least this time, didn’t go that far. But this will keep happening, there and beyond... nobody is a better friend to a right-wing berserker campaign than a terrified executive at a respectable news outlet who still doesn’t understand the modern internet.”

Huffington Post

“This controversy was purposely constructed to rankle and cause a commotion; the trolls simply wanted the gratification of seeing a supposed liberal-leaning publication flinch—and respond to a small but loud minority. What these critics wanted was not for Jeong to atone for her words, but for the journalistic establishment to acknowledge their power. And that’s precisely what the Times did.”

Fast Company

Trump's “goal, it seems, is to put so much pressure on Tehran that it has no choice but to completely change its behavior — but he could end up leading the countries to the brink of war in the process… Now is typically the time when cooler heads prevail, but it’s unclear if there are cooler heads around… It’s hard to overstate how avoidable this situation was.”
Alex Ward, Vox

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

The right condemns Jeong’s tweets as racist and sees an anti-conservative double-standard in the Times’ response, but generally does not believe she

or anyone else

should be fired for tweets written years ago.

The right condemns Jeong’s tweets as racist and sees an anti-conservative double-standard in the Times’ response, but generally does not believe she

or anyone else

should be fired for tweets written years ago.

“Anti-white racism is real, and Americans can and should reject it while still keeping in mind matters of gravity and proportion. Are we really so far gone that we can’t condemn taking ‘joy’ in being ‘cruel’ to another person on the basis of their race? It’s time to understand a fundamental truth: The denigration of human beings — yes, including white human beings — works its own harm.”

National Review

“The NY Times’ explanation that she was ‘imitating the rhetoric of her harassers’ sounds like 200 proof BS to me as does her claim this was satire. First, the tweets aren’t all replying to other people. Second, the tweets are spread over a span of several years. Third and most importantly, other people behaving like racist trolls is not an excuse for behaving like a racist troll.”

Hot Air

The Times promotes not only a double standard, but a double standard in which people on one side are likened to Nazis and Hitler, but people on the other, doing the precisely same things but aimed at a PC-disapproved group instead of a PC-favored one, receive positions of high cultural leadership and prominence.”

The Federalist

“Conservatives are not upset about what James Gunn, Samantha Bee, or Sarah Jeong actually said or wrote; most view these comments as pathetic attempts at humor or otherwise carelessly made remarks that do not deserve severe repercussions. But they are upset at the leniency that the liberal media gives these figures while simultaneously attempting to destroy their right-leaning counterparts.”

American Greatness

“If we've learned anything from the last few years, the capacity for outrage on the left and right is near infinite. There's nothing wrong with forcefully expressing disagreement, but the constant hunt for scalps will leave everyone bald and bloodied... if [newspapers] do hire someone, they should stand by their decision until the new employee does something worthy of firing while employed by them, not because a mob chooses to weaponize something they said in the past.”

Chicago Tribune

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

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