The New York Times slammed woke employees who signed onto a letter this week criticizing the newspaper’s coverage of transgender issues.
Employees of the newspaper had signed onto the letter, which accused The New York Times of “anti-trans bias” and aligning their views with “far-right hate groups,” which was followed by a second letter led by LGBT advocacy group GLAAD and signed by activists and public figures.
Joseph Kahn, the executive editor of The New York Times, responded to the letters in a statement addressed to the company.
“It is not unusual for outside groups to critique our coverage or to rally supporters to seek to influence our journalism,” he said. “In this case, however, members of our staff and contributors to The Times joined the effort. Their protest letter included direct attacks on several of our colleagues, singling them out by name.”
“Participation in such a campaign is against the letter and spirit of our ethics policy,” the letter continued. “That policy prohibits our journalists from aligning themselves with advocacy groups and joining protest actions on matters of public policy. We also have a clear policy prohibiting Times journalists from attacking one another’s journalism publicly or signaling their support for such attacks.”
“Our coverage of transgender issues, including the specific pieces singled out for attack, is important, deeply reported, and sensitively written,” the letter continued. “The journalists who produced those stories nonetheless have endured months of attacks, harassment and threats. The letter also ignores The Times’ strong commitment to covering all aspects of transgender issues, including the life experience of transgender people and the prejudice and violence against them in our society. A full list of our coverage can be viewed here, and any review shows that the allegations this group is making are demonstrably false.”
The letter said that the company understands that transgenderism is a hot-button issue and that some employees at the company are transgender.
“Even when we don’t agree, constructive criticism from colleagues who care, delivered respectfully and through the right channels, strengthens our report,” the letter concluded. “We do not welcome, and will not tolerate, participation by Times journalists in protests organized by advocacy groups or attacks on colleagues on social media and other public forums. We live in an era when journalists regularly come under fire for doing solid and essential work. We are committed to protecting and supporting them. Their work distinguishes this institution, and makes us proud.”
Memo from Joe Kahn to NYT staff responding to yesterday's letter re: trans coverage.
Times leadership says the paper "will not tolerate, participation by Times journalists in protests organized by advocacy groups or attacks on colleagues on social media and other public forums." pic.twitter.com/bjLruJVPnf
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) February 16, 2023