The New York Times building in New York City | Pixabay
Text Size:

New Delhi: After The New York Times faced widespread criticism on social media for firing a freelance editor allegedly for a pro-Biden tweet, the US newspaper has denied all claims.

On 19 January, Lauren Wolfe, who worked with the US daily’s ‘Live’ section, had tweeted that she had “chills” watching US President Joe Biden’s plane land outside Washington D.C., ahead of his inauguration. She was let go a few days later and has since then deleted the tweet.

However, the NYT Sunday clarified that it did not fire Wolfe over a single tweet.

“There’s a lot of inaccurate information circulating on Twitter. For privacy reasons we don’t get into the details of personnel matters, but we can say that we didn’t end someone’s employment over a single tweet. Out of respect for the individuals involved, we don’t plan to comment further,” Danielle Rhoades Ha, the newspaper’s spokesperson, told The Washington Post. 

NYT also reportedly clarified that Wolfe was “not a full-time employee and did not have a contract with the publication, contrary to widespread reports, and instead worked on a more informal freelance basis”.

Also read: Controversy around New York Times’ reporter Rukmini Callimachi & her podcast on Islamic State

Journalists rally behind Wolfe

Journalist Yashar Ali was the first one to highlight Wolfe’s situation. On 22 January, he cited anonymous sources and noted that the former NYT editor’s contract was terminated after her tweet on Biden was criticised by conservatives.

Some other journalists and Twitter users also condemned the termination and tweeted in solidarity with Wolfe. Baltimore Magazine Editor-in-Chief Max Weiss noted that her tweet could be construed as being awestruck by the sight of democracy in action.

Author Jillian C. York, meanwhile, pointed out that the NYT had “higher standards for women”.

Wolfe, on her part, described her termination as a “firing” on Facebook and also accused the publication of not “standing behind her”.

However, she asked users not to unsubscribe from the publication saying that she has loved the paper and “their journalism is some of the most important and best in the world, and they need to be read widely”.

The New York Times Guild also posted a statement Monday that Wolfe’s termination was done “outside of the just cause protection of our contract due to her offering support and representation”. The guild also said that they have reached out to Wolfe offering support and representation.

Also read: New York Times stops providing stories to Apple News Service

‘Biased’ tweet

Wolfe’s tweet on Biden was mostly criticised by conservatives and was termed as biased to the present administration.

Just a day before Wolfe’s tweet, Cliff Levy, an associate managing editor at NYT, had tweeted that the newspaper will scrutinise the incoming administration “just as thoroughly as we did the outgoing one”.

In response to that tweet, a user pointed out what Wolfe had tweeted in favour of the administration.

Some Twitter users also pointed out how Wolfe’s tweets reaffirmed the bias of the newspaper.

Also read: New York Times op-ed row raises questions if definition of journalism needs to be rewritten


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism



  1. Intolerant Liberals! NYT was amogst the international media which blamed India and Hindus of intolerance in 2015 and 2016. Pot calling the kettle black.

Comments are closed.