New York Times features writer Elizabeth Williamson on Thursday deleted what she called an "inappropriate" tweet that seemed to criticize the paper's controversial new hire Sarah Jeong.
Williamson, who is based in the paper's Washington bureau, originally had tweeted out a link to a column by opinion writer Bret Stephens about Jeong's hiring.
"Here's @BretStephensNYT offering a classy welcome to a colleague who has yet to prove she deserves one," Williamson wrote. After she deleted the tweet, Williamson linked to the column again, this time saying: "I just deleted my earlier tweet about this column. It was inappropriate. I apologize."
The Times did not immediately respond to requests for comment or queries about whether Williamson was asked to delete the original tweet. The story was first reported by The Wrap.
Critics slammed the paper over Jeong's hiring after social media detectives found she sent derogatory tweets about white people and made disparaging comments about her now-colleagues at the Times.
"Oh man it's kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men," read one of the most notorious messages from July 2014.
The Times issued a statement defending its hiring of Jeong, claiming that she was responding to online harassment "by imitating the rhetoric of her harassers ... She regrets it and The Times does not condone it."
In the column that Williamson referenced, Stephens said many of Jeong's tweets were "racist" and noted what he called "the leftist double standard when it comes to social-media transgressions."
However, Stephens added that Jeong's Twitter statements should be examined "with utmost caution."
"The person you are drunk or stoned is not the person you are — at least not the whole person," he wrote. "Neither is the person you are the one who’s on Twitter ... So welcome, Sarah, to The Times."