Was Lauren Wolfe Some Kind Of Sacrificial Lamb For The New York Times?

The New York Times building in the west side of Midtown Manhattan.
Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Cancel culture seemingly came for a leftist last week when freelance New York Times editor Lauren Wolfe was fired from the newspaper after she tweeted that she had “chills” seeing Joe Biden’s plane landing before his inauguration.

Independent Journalist Glenn Greenwald quote-tweeted the post and called out Wolfe and the rest of the media for what we’re all anticipating to be four years of light coverage of the Biden administration. Many other people also criticized Wolfe’s tweet, but after she was fired, Greenwald was primarily blamed for participating in “cancelling” her.

Is Greenwald not allowed to comment on media bias? Of course he is, just as anyone else should feel free to do so. The blame for Wolfe’s firing falls not on Greenwald, but the Times’ management, which is withholding details as to why Wolfe was fired following the errant tweet.

No one was expecting the Times to be objective in covering the Biden administration, just as no one was surprised with how they covered the Trump administration. The idea that the New York Times gave in to a conservative “cancel culture” mob is ludicrous, yet the Times seems to be allowing the narrative to persist.

On Sunday, author Jesse Singal pointed out that outlets who initially ran with that narrative made blatant errors in their reporting, chief among them Vox (to the surprise of no one). Vox reported on Sunday that critics “began flooding” Twitter with tweets attacking Wolfe, even though the link they provided leads to an unverified account with less than 300 followers. The outlet also claimed that journalist Yashar Ali reported that unnamed sources told him Wolfe was fired after the cancel culture campaign. But Ali told Singal he “never said that.”

There is no evidence to suggest there was some massive campaign to fire Wolfe, and the Times initially hinted at this in a cryptic statement.

“There’s a lot of inaccurate information circulating on Twitter. For privacy reasons we don’t get into the details of personnel matters but we can say that we didn’t end someone’s employment over a single tweet. We don’t plan to comment further,” the statement said, according to Vanity Fair’s media correspondent Joe Pompeo.

Pompeo dug deeper into the story, and though he clearly places the blame on conservatives for Wolfe’s firing, he learned the following:

I checked in with a number of senior Times sources on Sunday, and they all told me the same thing: Wolfe had previously been cautioned about her social media behavior. A manager gave her a warning months ago after staffers expressed discomfort with certain tweets she was told bordered on being political. My sources emphasized that Wolfe was not a full Times employee—her position on the “flexible editing desk,” which springs into action during heavy news cycles and staffing shortages, was a temporary one. But sources also told me that even though Wolfe was brought on as a “casual” (Times jargon for freelance editor), she was pursuing a full-time position on a newly created live-journalism team headed up by assistant managing editor Marc Lacey. Whether her employment could or would become permanent was yet to be seen. According to someone with knowledge of the phone call in which Wolfe was let go, she was told that her name and the Times’ name were in headlines all over the place, and “we can’t have that.”

Pompeo went on to suggest the Times fired Wolfe for a number of reasons, such as the embarrassing saga of the paper’s “Caliphate” podcast and the fact that it merely reassigned the reporter responsible but didn’t discipline the editor in any way. He also suggested that the Times not wanting to seem so obviously “friendly” to the Biden administration was in part responsible for Wolfe’s firing.

It still seems like an unlikely reason for the Times to end its relationship with Wolfe. It was just a couple tweets proving what conservatives already know about the paper. Conservatives heavily criticize star Times reporter Maggie Haberman for her tweets as well, yet the Times has not acted against her (nor should it).

Wolfe shouldn’t be fired over a few tweets, just like numerous other people shouldn’t have lost their jobs for their social media posts. While many are trying to blame conservatives for her firing, and the Times is largely allowing the narrative to breathe, it looks like there was more to the story than the paper is letting on.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Was Lauren Wolfe Some Kind Of Sacrificial Lamb For The New York Times?