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New York Times demotes editor over controversial tweets

The New York Times is demoting its deputy Washington editor, Jonathan Weisman, over a pair of controversial tweets, removing him as a congressional editor and saying he will no longer be active on social media.

“Jonathan Weisman met with [Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet] today and apologized for his recent serious lapses in judgment. As a consequence of his actions, he has been demoted and will no longer be overseeing the team that covers Congress or be active on social media. We don’t typically discuss personnel matters but we’re doing so in this instance with Jonathan’s knowledge,” a Times spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.

{mosads}In July, Weisman deleted a tweet that outraged many in which he wrote that saying Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar were from the Midwest was “like saying @RepLloydDoggett (D-Austin) is from Texas or @repjohnlewis (D-Atlanta) is from the Deep South.” 

Weisman was accused of racism over the tweets, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) retweeted the post and said “They literally are, &this comment is what erasure looks like.” Omar also responded to the tweet, saying, “this will certainly be news to people of Minnesota’s 5th District!” 

Weisman also faced criticism last week after saying that the organization Justice Democrats was backing a primary challenger, Morgan Harper, against Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), who is black. Harper responded that she is also African American.

Author Roxane Gay accused Weisman of emailing her after she mocked the tweets, telling her that she owed him an “enormous apology” for accusing him of racism and incompetence.

Marc Tracy, a media reporter for the newspaper, said Weisman said he accepted Baquet’s judgement in an interview.

Updated: 5:55 p.m.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ilhan Omar Joyce Beatty Rashida Tlaib The New York Times
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