The New York Times Fired a Columnist Before She Started; Now, She Speaks Up

Comments

1
Stephens' climate denialism is 100 time worse than anything these two women did. Ironic, the conservative men of the Times are still gainfully employed while two left-aligned women are jobless, and all in the name of diversity of progress. Wonderful work guys!
2
This is all quite horrific. Times readers and others on the left (and the right) need to dial down the outrage a bit and start listening a little closer before they start foaming at the Twittermouth over every goddamn little thing. There's a lot of lashing out in all directions right now, which is not helping to focus energy on actual lawmakers who make laws and such, and thus should really be the ones under intense scrutiny.
4
Dear Stranger:
Be nice to Katie Herzog, she's a mighty fine writer and a keeper.
Also disregard @3 above, who is neither.
Thanks.
5
Glenn Greenwald did a good job of dismantling the Times’ bullshit “diversity” opinion hires. They are all a bunch of centrists who fall within a very narrow margin of thought on either side and don’t contribute anything new or different from what can be found elsewhere. They just want to congratulate themselves for exposing people to ever-so slightly different opinions than they might expect based on the right-wing stereotype of a liberal mainstream outlet, which they have very clearly internalized (never a good look).

Anyway this Quinn person can still pursue the lord’s work of befriending nazis, but she shouldn’t be too surprised her friendship - as well as and her refusal to get what the big deal is - would be a dealbreaker for editorial staff at a major newspaper. Everyone wants to be a martyr these days.
6
The New York Times is considered an arbiter of acceptable thought. It’s known as a liberal bastion, but it’s viewpoint has steadily crept from center-“left” to center-right (if not hard right).

This is a newspaper where not one of its columnists will stand up for single payer. This was the newspaper that marched forward with the Iraq War. And it marched forward with giving Trump a soft criticism.

The left are the only ones actively balking at the rightward push of the Overton Window. If you want to defend a het-married woman who throws around the word fag, that’s your pleasure. This is a woman who went on a paragraphs long non-apologia describing a situation where she derided the black female community (“a community she didn’t know existed”) and was subject to a pile on and so she’s the real victim.

I do not know if she was a Trojan horse ultra liberal sacrifice (she claims to be an anarcho-pacifist) to push the NYT opinion page further right while making the Twitterati Left into the villains. But I do know the NYTimes Opinion Page is right wing trash and anybody hired by them should be considered suspect (especially if they’re a white woman who freely uses the N-word).
7
Also, I agree with @1, we should note that the NYTimes stood by their Republican hirees while sacrificing their “liberal” (centrist) writers at the altar of the Twitterati Left.

I stand by my statement: the NYTimes is trash.
8
@3/4: An intro summary paragraph is needed, rather than just starting at a point in a stream of consciousness narrative. This looks like a first draft.
11
Also the analogy of the black guy befriending the kkk is not applicable. Daryl Davis put himself at personal risk to set an example and teach people the error of their ways through his friendship and compassion. Quinn is a straight white woman of christian heritage. It’s not an act of bravery or self-sacrifice for her to hang out with people who don’t want to exterminate her.
12
Yeah blip is right. I would really love to hear what Davis thinks of Norton, or better yet, Herzog's comparison of the two - Herzog seems to love to discuss how online discourse eliminates nuance but throws that out the window when she's defending her pet causes (oops there's that burn pile!) An easy one at first glance is how Herzog mentions Quinn's queer identity as a means of deflecting away from throwing around fag; in Quinn's own article, she says she used that word as "in-group" language with anons aka 4chan types.

Norton has been friends with weev for a long time before his radicalization and has publicly come to his defense many more times than she's condemned his behavior. In that time he has doubled down on his white supremacy, calling for the extermination of Jews and complaining about not being able to tell "nigger jokes" on record. Dude is evil. It's Norton's decision to maintain that friendship but a huge part of exit organizations is being able to identify who is interested in leaving in the first place. I still read Norton but it shows a huge fucking lack of discernment on her part, which, y'know, maybe isn't the best qualification for an opinion writer.

Anyway, you're right that it's complicated, but making Norton into a martyr when people on Twitter are just using discourse (that thing you seem to advocate for) to push back against pollyanna nazi sympathizing is just lazy journalism. Par for the course for Herzog.
13
You're taking Norton's word for it that she's 'mainly' being persecuted for using a racist term once in a retweet. In fact, she's used it at least twice; and the time she DIDN'T acknowledge was actually more egregious than the one she claims as the reason she's unfairly attacked. This wasn't a retweet, it's all her own words, and even besides the use of the N word its implications are chilling: https://twitter.com/quinnnorton/status/3…

You didn't mention this in your article defending her, so either you didn't know about it and that's sloppy research, or you DID and you're engaging in deliberately slanted special pleading.
14
@9/10

Is she really spewing "liberal" bs? She claims a liberal identity by identifying herself as queer and as a Trump hater, but she reminds me of those people who join the Republican Party after years of being a Democrat because they claim that Democrats are just not open minded, like Republicans. Supposed "free speech" and all that, you know.
15
There’s a big difference between being friends with people in private and changing their minds personally, one-by-one, and being friends with people publicly and normalizing their BS. If friendship with the Nazi is so important to her, let them be friends. But if it’s part of her public persona, that makes it part of NYT’s public persona, that makes a big cultural voice voting for white supremacy - welcome to 2018. Everyone can see everything, everyone can hear everything.
16
Keep it up, Katie. You're obviously striking some chords. The more vociferous and less nuanced opinions may litter the comment threads but plenty of us appreciate the provocative but thoughtful against-the-grain analysis. I thought Norton was a terrible hire, but I find her longstanding friendship with weev beside the point. Dragging him would be the easy and professionally advantageous thing to do, but she stands a much better chance (however infinitesmal) of potentially changing his mind someday as a loyal ally than if she denounced or betrayed their friendship. It's easy to burn bridges and exacerbate divides; it's hard, but ultimately courageous, to try to maintain connections with the problematic, to keep a dialog going, to constantly remind terrible people of their humanity and potential decency. Good for her and good for you for "going there."
17
Also Laci Green, Lindsay Shepherd, Cassie Jaye, Steven Pinker. People on the Left, slammed by the Left for creating bridges, considering other points of view, daring to think beyond the dogma. I'm a leftie too, and am sometimes amazed for what passes as "liberal."
18
Bari Weiss is a boring shitty writer. As is Bret Stephens. Neither of them deserve their jobs. Also Weiss gained fame by trying to get a pro-Palestine professor fired. Classical liberal!

Re: Quinn Norton, her comparing herself to the guy actively working to de-radicalize KKK members is self-serving horseshit. Whatever she claims to be working on with weev, it clearly hasn’t worked. I feel like if a friend of mine became a Neo-Nazi, I’d give conversation (in a safe place) a shot, but if years have gone by and they’re still a Neo-Nazi, I’d cut my fucking losses. Seems more likely that she gets a kick out of having transgressive friends that she faces no danger from.
19
As a general rule, I think it would probably be a good idea for major newspapers to not hire opinion writers so stupid they believe things as spectacularly and obviously dumb and wrong as "I have to be friends with Nazis because I'm a pacifist anarchist."

.
20
@17 after building her bridge, Laci Green turned into a hard right nutter. I don’t care what she claims on NPR, when your only videos in the past 8 months are trolling trans people, feminists and the gay community...you might be a right wing nutter.

Maybe she was in it for the attention all along (a YouTube star in it for the attention???), but she disproves your point about building bridges being a great thing to build the liberal community.
21
First off, if the talent you supposedly bring to the table is your technical and social media savvy, then how the hell to you go through the hiring process for a high profile job at a mainstream publication without realizing you need to get way out in front of your Nazi-befriending, racial slur-tweeting "past"? The very fact that somebody else had to bring this to the Times' attention is enough reason to call her either an incompetent or a fraud.

And cozying up to Nazis does not make you Ghandi.
23
How many pro-Bernie Sanders journos are to be found at the NYT? Zero.

This should tell us all we need to know about the supposed diversity of opinions to be found at the NYT
24
@katie. Did you take a shit in here or is that awful stench your Twitter mob?

25
What lazy thinkers we have all become. Who is left to conduct the hard work of finding a deeper truth while the rest of us work ourselves into a collective frenzy in 140 characters or less? We obviously have less cause then ever to trust our electeds, and we're also lining up to crucify academics and journalists. I sure as fuck don't trust the rabid facebook hordes to shine a light in the darkness. Looks like we've made some collective decision to surrender all rational thought to mob mentality.

Despite this ugly intellectual climate, I do want to join the small group of readers who appreciates Katie H. for sticking with the really tough journalistic niche she has carved for herself. It is NOT easy to be a voice of reason in this moment of rage of reaction. She is correct that she's making herself a candidate for the "burnpile," but only because she's got the guts to ask questions instead of conforming to the twitter party line. Thank you Katie, and thank you Stranger for NOT caving to her critics.
26
@25 there are dozens of columnists writing the same tired arguments about political correctness/the Left/Twitter going too far. Do they sometimes have a point? Sure, but they also never engage with the reasoned arguments on the left, preferring to highlight the most unhinged comments as representative of everyone. There are plenty of thoughtful articles/tweets/whatever about the mistakes the NYTimes has made on its editorial page and they are roundly ignored. As far as I can tell Katie has faced no consequences other than people criticizing her, sometimes rudely, online. Which is par for the course when writing anything these days. Publically presenting an opinion that you agree with doesn’t automatically equal bravery.
27
Getting negative feedback for voicing an opinion is not some sort of punishment, it's a direct and entirely predictable consequence of sharing an opinion online. Liberal and feminist opinion writers get negative comments and shitty emails *all the time*, often accompanied by rape and death threats, but rarely do they feel the need to preemptively fall on a sword before they share an opinion they know will upset people, though many of them end up leaving social media altogether because the abuse is not worth it. I honestly don't get the impulse by people who consider themselves liberal to defend those who target feminists and minorities while completely ignoring the abuse their fellow liberals experience.
28
Seems like a good occasion for people to read (or re-read) On Smarm: http://gawker.com/on-smarm-1476594977