NY Times Abruptly Fires Its New Nazi-Befriending Editorial Board Hire



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".

A publicity photo of Quinn Norton released on Tuesday by the New York Times.

Between the two statements, a social media storm had erupted, with Ms. Norton at the center of it, because of her use of slurs on Twitter and her friendship with Andrew Auernheimer, who gained infamy as an internet troll going by the name "weev".

After the Times announced Norton would be joining their editorial board, critics pointed to tweets in which she continued to express her friendship with Auernheimer: "weev is a bad person, & an old friend of mine", she wrote last October.

"Despite our review of Quinn Norton's work and our conversations with her previous employers, this was new information to us,", James Bennet. "Based on it, we've made a decision to go our separate ways", Bennet said in a tweet posted by the newspaper's communications department.

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It's also unclear what precisely Norton meant when she wrote that she was "friends" with neo-Nazis.

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.

Norton promptly celebrated the news on her blog on the crowdfunding website Patreon on Tuesday, writing that the Times had first approached her in January - and remained interested despite her misgivings.

In October 2014, when a Twitter user asked Norton whether she is friends with neo-Nazis, the journalist responded that she is indeed.

The controversy comes after a dustup earlier this week over New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss, who called U.S. athlete Mirai Nagasu an "immigrant" in a now-deleted tweet. "I have never agreed with them, and I've been clear on that". On multiple occasions she also tweeted the n-word.

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In one conversation from 2013, Norton wrote "Here's the deal, fa-ot". "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".

Outside of Twitter, Norton has also publicized controversial opinions.

"I haven't tried to make myself look more professionally acceptable, more conventional, or any of that, for the benefit of my new employer".

"One good thing from all this, I have a long list of story ideas I was collecting for the times, and I'm really looking forward to fleshing them out and getting them out into the world", she tweeted. She was also a columnist at Maximum PC magazine for five years, and she's written regularly for Medium and contributed to The Atlantic, ProPublica and Gizmodo.

"As for how weird, well that's for them to discover", she wrote.

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