NYT Fires Newly Hired Editorial Member for Friendship With neo-Nazis, Slurs


On Tuesday afternoon, the New York Times editorial board announced that it had hired journalist and essayist Quinn Norton as its lead opinion writer on the "power, culture and consequences of technology".

In a series of tweets, Norton admitted to being "friends with various neo-nazis" although she claimed she "never agreed with them".

Last November, when asked whether she is friends with Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer, a notorious neo-Nazi and white supremacist, Norton wrote that she says his views are "dumb every time we talk".

James Bennet, The Times' editorial page editor, confirmed to The News that Norton will not join the board. "Based on it, we've chose to go our separate ways." iMediaEthics has written to the Times to ask if the decision to cut ties was made exclusively on her tweets and if the newspaper typically reviews public social media postings before making new hires.

Norton, who is known for her tech journalism and work on the subjects of race and racism, responded to her firing by tweeting: "I've been a queer activist since 1992".

Norton has also used the word "n-er" on Twitter several times and previously said that, "as far as I'm concerned, no one is a terrorist".

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Norton's quick job withdrawal came just weeks after The Times faced flak for temporarily doing away with its editorial page to publish a selection of letters from supporters of President Trump.

Shortly after her hire was announced Tuesday, Norton wrote in a blog post that the Times employees she had interviewed with "made it clear that they weren't going to get put off by a little weird".

In the wake of the social media uproar, Norton tried to explain away her previous tweets.

Quinn Norton, who has written for publications like Wired and the Atlantic, was brought on to help readers make sense of the "profound uncertainty about the role of technology in our lives", according to a Times statement issued early Tuesday.

"Srsly, did you just do that after having the discussion about rape culture with me?" In another tweet past year, she wrote, "Weev is a awful person, & an old friend of mine". "I'm sorry I can't do the work I wanted to do with them". She previously called him "an old friend of mine", defending her connection with him while admitting he is "terrible". But, Norton on Tuesday evening posted a tweet stating she wouldn't be joining the company. "I wish there had been a way, but ultimately, they need to feel safe with how the net will react to their opinion writers", she posted as part of a chain of messages, one of which asserted that she believes that "all people are redeemable".

"I have been friends with various neo-Nazis in my time", she tweeted.

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