NY Times Stands by New Editorial Board Hire Despite ‘Not Acceptable’ Tweets About ‘White People’

“It’s hard to see these tweets as anything other than blatant racism,” Fortune reporter Jeff Roberts says

Sarah Jeong

The New York Times is facing backlash about its latest hire to its editorial board, Sarah Jeong, after multiple old tweets about “white people” resurfaced within hours of her hiring on Wednesday.

In a litany of tweets dating from around 2014, some of which have been deleted, Jeong made a number of comments that critics said were racist and disparaging. “Oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men,” she said in one tweet — now deleted — but archived here.

“Dumbass f–ing white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants,” she in another.

At least a dozen more were flying around Twitter by Thursday morning.


In a statement on Thursday, the Times defended Jeong’s hiring and said that it had reviewed her social media history before bringing the Oregon-based writer on board.

“Her journalism and the fact that she is a young Asian woman have made her a subject of frequent online harassment. For a period of time she responded to that harassment by imitating the rhetoric of her accusers,” the Times said. “She now sees that this approach only served to feed the vitriol that we too often see on social media. She regrets it, and the Times does not condone it.”

Jeong and reps for The Verge, a liberal tech website where Jeong has served as a senior writer, did not immediately respond to inquiries from TheWrap.

But on Twitter, a growing chorus of critics questioned the paper’s decision to hire Jeong.

“Sarah Jeong is one of the best tech reporters of our time and a great hire for the NYT,” Fortune writer Jeff Roberts tweeted. “But it’s hard to see these tweets as anything other than blatant racism.”

“creepy race obsessive,” said Townhall political editor and Fox News contributor Guy Benson in a tweet which had racked up more than 3,000 retweets by Thursday morning.

This is not the first time that resurfaced tweets have caught up to a new Times hire.

In February, the paper hired and then swiftly fire tech journalist Quinn Norton over old tweets in which she spoke of her friendship with noted white supremacist Andrew Auernheimer and used a number of racial and sexual slurs.

She was out within seven hours.

“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,” said Times editorial page editor James Bennet in a terse statement.

Here are some of the other comments about Jeong.