Critics are slamming The New York Times, saying the newspaper has a “hypocritical double standard” after the publication stood by its hiring of tech writer Sarah Jeong despite several derogatory tweets of hers aimed at white people.
Jeong tweeted that she gets joy out of being “cruel to old white men,” used a “CancelWhitePeople” hashtag and sent numerous other offensive tweets. The tweets – mostly from 2014 – were unearthed earlier this week after the Times announced Jeong was joining the paper. The paper defended Jeong in a statement on Thursday, chalking her offensive comments up to a “young Asian woman” “imitating the rhetoric” of her own online harassers.
Conservative columnist Daniella Greenbaum told Fox News that “the issue at hand here is not about whether Jeong’s tweets were racist or not.” Greenbaum says that hypocrisy is the real issue.
“Jeong claimed she was kidding. Good enough, I guess, although swap the word ‘white’ and insert black, Mexican, or Jewish in any of her tweets and I have a feeling we’d be having a very different conversation,” Greenbaum said.
Much like Jeong, Greenbaum is a young columnist who has garnered a lot of attention. But Greenbaum is a staunch conservative, who last month resigned from her job as a columnist at Business Insider after the website removed an already-published piece defending Scarlett Johansson for signing on to play a transgender man. The piece apparently offended some of her liberal colleagues and Greenbaum walked away from her job after being censored. Johansson later backed away from the role.
Greenbaum, who didn’t exactly receive overwhelming support during her own ordeal, noticed that many in the media industry have rushed to defend Jeong.
“The New York Times, and much of the media chose to believe that she was kidding, or to posit that even if she wasn’t kidding, her misguided beliefs are not reason enough to fire her. In other words, they extended her a brand of courtesy never offered to people who are right of center,” Greenbaum said. “That’s the issue here.”
High-powered liberal media members such as HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen and leadership at The Verge, where Jeong currently works, have defended her rhetoric.
The former Business Insider columnist said we have “created an enormous, hypocritical double standard that is entirely unjust” when it comes to judgment in the media industry.
“Let’s see how Jeong reacts next time a conservative finds themselves in a similar situation. Something tells me she won’t speak out on their behalf,” Greenbaum said.
Greenbaum isn’t the only person slamming the Times.
Media Research Center analyst Kristine Marsh wrote, “The New York Times justified her racist tweets,” and called the paper’s statement laughable.
Some social media users agreed and blasted the paper's decision on Twitter.
The New York Times doubled-down on Jeong’s behalf in their statement announcing support for the tech writer.
The newspaper stated: “We hired Sarah Jeong because of the exceptional work she has done … 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."