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February 14, 2018 9:43 am

N.Y. Times Hires Friend of a Neo-Nazi, Then Backs Down

avatar by Ira Stoll

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The New York Times. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The New York Times hired a new editorial board member who turned out to be the “friend” of someone she knew was a neo-Nazi.

After that and a series of tweets by the writer using anti-gay slurs came to light, the Times announced it had changed its mind.

On Tuesday afternoon, Times editorial page editor James Bennet released a statement, “We’re delighted to announce that Quinn Norton has joined The New York Times editorial board as our lead opinion writer on the power, culture, and consequences of technology.”

The Huffington Post quickly reported that “Norton has tweeted that she’s friends with neo-Nazis, and has used slurs on a regular basis.”

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Norton later explained on Twitter, “I believe white folks should engage with the racists in their life, and I believe all people are redeemable, and ‘all people’ is all people.”

By day’s end, the Times was no longer so “delighted,” and in fact had decided not to go ahead with the hire. Bennet said in a statement released by the paper, Despite our review of Quinn Norton’s work and our conversations with her previous employers, this was new information to us. Based on it, we’ve decided to go our separate ways.”

A Times news article about the situation said the issue was Norton’s friendship with a person whonow works for The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website.” Norton described him in October as “a terrible person & an old friend of mine.”

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

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