New York Times unable to figure out what to do with politics editor who is trying ‘to be less anti-Semitic’

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the New York Times hired Tom Wright-Piersanti to oversee political coverage as senior staff editor and has kept him employed in that capacity for more than five years.  He fit right in with the paper’s organizational culture, with nary a public hint that anyone there saw him as out of line with the paper’s values/ All went swimmingly until those upstarts at Breitbart unearthed his hideously bigoted tweets, featuring abusive language and this confession:

I was going to say "Crappy Jew Year," but one of my resolutions is to be less anti-Semitic. So… HAPPY Jew Year. You Jews.

— Tom Wright-Piersanti (@tomwp) January 1, 2010

Via Breitbart

This was not the only bigoted tweet. The rival New York Post has a nice collection, if you care to soil yourself with the contents of his mind.

What is notable to me is that the Times is having a hard time figuring out what to do with him.



Republican politicians, the kind of people the Times loves to castigate as bigots, troglodytes, and selfish, are not so hesitant:

Appearing Thursday on the Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) said New York Times politics editor Tom Wright-Piersanti should be fired for his past racist and antisemitic tweets. (snip)

“An editor from the New York Times is scrubbing his [Twitter] account, this guy Tom Wright-Piersanti, because he was self-describing himself as an antisemite and he was going after Jews and others,” remarked Zeldin, who is Jewish, before adding that the journalist “should be fired.” (snip)

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham slammed Wright-Piersanti’s racist remarks, telling Breitbart News that she is “disgusted” by the racism displayed by the Times editor. 



Wright-Piersanti has issued a rather vague apology. Via Breitbart:

I have deleted tweets from a decade ago that are offensive. I am deeply sorry.

— Tom Wright-Piersanti (@tomwp) August 22, 2019

In his apology, he does not explain why the tweets were “offensive” and brushes off the comments as “from a decade ago.” The Times, through spokeswomen Danielle Rhoades-Ha and Eileen Murphy, has not replied to repeated requests for comment from Breitbart News on whether they think his actions are enough, or whether Executive Editor Dean Baquet has become involved in this matter.

Is Wright-Peirsanti so heavily involved in the Times’ major focus now on the “1619 project” maintaining that slavery is the very essence of the American nation that the Times cannot afford to lose him?  

What’s clear is that having a Jew-hater on staff is not so serious an issue that immediate firing was required. Just as the Times is comfortable with Caucasian-hater Sarah Jeong as a member of its editorial board.

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