In a rare and unexpected move, the New York Times has axed the latest addition to its widely maligned editorial board less than a day after announcing her hiring after leftist pundits exploded in outrage over questionable tweets from her past.
The tweets in question - which were published more than four years ago - suggested that the writer, Quinn Norton, was "friends with" some neo-nazis - but didn't share their views.
As the New York Post reported, the NYT fired Norton, a tech writer, after the controversy - which also included her use of racial and homophobic slurs - erupted late Tuesday.
"Despite our review of Quinn Norton’s work and our conversations with her previous employers, this was new information to us," read a statement from editorial page editor, James Bennet.
"Based on it, we’ve decided to go our separate ways."
Yes, you read that correctly: A newsroom full of the world's finest (purportedly) journalist completely forgot to double-check the ol' TL.
Quinn has since deleted her controversial tweets, but the NYP provided a brief description of their contents:
In a series of tweets, Norton admitted to being “friends with various neo-Nazis” although she claimed she “never agreed with them.”
In one conversation from 2013, Norton wrote “Here’s the deal, f—t. Free speech comes with responsibility. not legal, but human. grown up. you can do this.”
In another oddly prescient tweet from 2014, she said “Today I realized I’d probably make a lot more money being a racist for @nytimes.”
...It also pointed out that despite the early dismissal, Norton seemed to take the situation in stride during this staggeringly long twitter thread...
OK, omg, all of this. I have a movie to go see, but talk to you all later!— Well that was fun. (@quinnnorton) February 13, 2018
Of course, Quinn represents a complicated case for anybody who supports unbridled free speech: Should professional newspaper editorial writers be allowed to express a degree of sympathy for horrible people and their motives? Also, by firing Quinn and choosing to keep White House reporter Glenn Thrush on staff (albeit in a different role) is the Grey Lady committing an act of blatant sexism?
What do you think?