‘Yes, I am biased’: Ex-New York Times editor fired for saying she got ‘chills’ when Joe Biden became president DEFENDS inserting her personal views into stories and says they’re needed to counter ‘lies’
- Lauren Wolfe penned an op-ed published in the Washington Monthly on Friday where she defended her comments that lost her her job at the New York Times
- Wolfe lost her gig with the Times in January after tweeting: ‘Biden landing at Joint Base Andrews now. I have chills,’ on the day before the inauguration
- Wolfe said she sees her job as a journalist as gathering information and translating it for her audience ‘clearly and effectively’
- Writing in a piece that was first published on her Substack, she claimed that trying to balance stories often meant giving too much space to lies
A former New York Times editor fired over a tweet claiming Joe Biden’s inauguration was giving her ‘chills’ has defended her behavior in an op-ed entitled: ‘I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That.’
Lauren Wolfe defended the comments that lost her her job at the New York Times in a piece published in the Washington Monthly on Friday, and insisted it is fine for reporters’ to insert their personal views into some news stories.
‘Being fair and having point of view aren’t incompatible,’ she wrote in an op-ed originally published on her Substack. ‘Reporters at the New York Times and elsewhere shouldn’t have to disguise or suppress their views’
Lauren Wolfe (pictured) penned an op-ed published in the Washington Monthly on Friday where she defended her comments that lost her her job at the New York Times
Wolfe lost her gig with the Times in January after tweeting: ‘Biden landing at Joint Base Andrews now. I have chills,’ on the day before the inauguration
Wolfe lost her gig with the Times in January after tweeting: ‘Biden landing at Joint Base Andrews now. I have chills,’ on the day before the inauguration.
Wolfe also tweeted that Trump was ‘mortifying’ and ‘childish’ for having refused to send Biden a military place to bring him to D.C. She later deleted that tweet after acknowledging Biden had made the choice not to take a military plane.
‘Ever since I was fired from The New York Times at the end of January, no matter what I publish or say about journalism online, angry people come out of their hidey-holes to yell at me. They say that I’m biased … that journalists are all crooked, and that I’m a perfect example of why no one can believe anything we in the media say,’ Wolfe began her piece.
Wolfe said she sees her job as a journalist as gathering information and translating it for her audience ‘clearly and effectively’
‘Sometimes that is best done by giving your own perspective along with your sources,’ she said. ‘And often, the most powerful way of doing that is by writing in first person.’
She argues that there is no way to be totally neutral as a reporter.
Wolfe penned an op-ed titled ‘I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That’
‘As journalists, we can all use what appears to be a ‘neutral voice,’ but that doesn’t mean our implicit bias isn’t guiding our choice of sources, or even what stories we decide to cover,’ she explains.
‘Pretending that we’re all able to be constantly and utterly objective just feels absurd to me. Instead, I’ve always believed it is better to be open about my views on the issues I cover, which for a long time have been war and international human rights. And yes, I often do write with an agenda—with an eye toward creating change,’ Wolfe added.
The reporter was critical of media organizations’ ‘relentless need to find objective balance’ in their reporting, which she said ‘has actually led to dangerous imbalance—with outlets too often giving as much space to lies as to facts.’
After she was fired Wolfe launched her own site to defend her post, asking ‘is it cold in here?’ and arguing the NYT was like ‘being in a shoe that was a bit too tight’
The Times said Wolfe’s dismissal was not on the basis of the ‘chills’ tweet alone, but did not comment any further on the reasons for letting her go.
But Wolfe argued the tweet was ‘the only reason they fired me’, calling their statement on the matter ‘a shot at my reputation’.
The New York Times has a social media policy for its journalism and editorial staff that requires them to remain impartial in their posting online.
‘If our journalists are perceived as biased or if they engage in editorializing on social media, that can undercut the credibility of the entire newsroom,’ its policy states.
‘We’ve always made clear that newsroom employees should avoid posting anything on social media that damages our reputation for neutrality and fairness.’
The paper – nicknamed ‘the gray lady’ has been roiled in recent years over claims many of its staff have become activist-journalists.
Former opinion editor Bari Weiss resigned with a fiery statement claiming the publication was too beholden to the whims of whatever the prevailing view was on Twitter, and also said the Times no longer welcomes centrist or conservative viewpoints.