It must be difficult being a New York Times employee. It can be really hard to know what conduct the company considers acceptable and what will get you canned.
Sarah Jeong has a long history of issuing racist tweets, yet she’s still an editorial writer for the Gray Lady. Reporter Taylor Lorenz has serially embarrassed herself and the newspaper over the years, but still apparently meets the paper of record’s high standards for accuracy and rectitude.
However, when a Wirecutter (a NYT property) editor left some, uh, intemperate voicemails for Great Lakes Gun Rights after a Michigan school shooting, she apparently crossed an invisible line.
Among other things, the unhinged editor said . . .
Again, I am from the New York Times and I’m letting everyone in the New York Times know what kind of f@cking a$$holes you are. Congrats on being a laughing stock.
You f@cking ghouls. I hope that there is a God in heaven so he judges you when you die.
The Times subsequently suspended Erin Marquis after the National Association for Gun Rights made the voicemails public. Now comes news that the paper has fired her.
As The Washington Post reports . . .
“The employee has been terminated from Wirecutter following our investigation related to inappropriate behavior,” a spokesperson told The Washington Post on Friday morning. “We expect our employees to behave in a way that is consistent with our values and commitment to the highest ethical standards. Repeatedly invoking the New York Times’s name in an unprofessional way that imperils the reputation of Wirecutter, The Times, and all of our journalists is a clear violation of our policies and cannot be tolerated.”
While Wirecutter is a separate subsidiary, its website advises that . . .
Wirecutter employees are expected to uphold the editorial standards of the newspaper when reviewing and writing up product recommendations. “Our approach to journalism remains true to the mission that powers The Times: Seek the truth and help people understand the world,” a guide to the website says.
Just for the record, racist, blatantly inaccurate, or downright defamatory comments and reporting aren’t enough to get you tossed from the New York Times. But losing your $hit and leaving voice mails using language that should really be confined to the Times’ newsroom — all while invoking the venerable New York Times name — is beyond the pale.