A New York Times staffer was “spat upon” by someone who was upset about the newspaper’s “attempts to eliminate trans people,” according to a spokesperson for the Gray Lady.
The alleged incident took place amid an ongoing campaign of criticism against the Times from activists who say that “the newspaper of record” is devoting ink to “transphobic” voices.
A Times spokesperson told Washington Post media columnist Erik Wemple on Thursday that the incident took place on Feb. 19. The employee hasn’t been identified.
“Our employee was recognized in public,” Wemple quoted the Times spokesperson as saying.
“The person said something about ‘attempts to eliminate trans people’ and then spat on the employee.”
The Post has sought comment from the Times.
The Times on Thursday convened its annual “State of the Times” event which featured keynote speaker A.G. Sulzberger, the newspaper’s publisher.
Sulzberger defended his newspaper’s coverage of transgender issues. He specifically mentioned reporter Emily Bazelon, the author of a 2022 feature that delves into divisions within the medical community regarding gender transition therapies for youngsters.
The publisher defended Bazelon, who has come in for criticism from activists who claim the article promotes an “anti-trans agenda.”
Sulzberger praised Bazelon for her work, which “empathetically examined the debate within the medical community over treatment for trans adolescents.”
“I want to linger for a moment on Emily, one of the best magazine writers alive and someone who received a great deal of unfair criticism for the piece I just mentioned,” Sulzberger said.
Sulzberger, the son of former publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., then cited several other Times journalists whose writing about trans issues has ignited fierce criticism from activists.
The publisher praised the “sensitive reporting” done by Megan Twohey, Christina Jewett, Azeen Ghorayshi, Michael Powell and Katie Baker.
Sulzberger emphatically rejected claims that the newspaper was promoting an agenda harmful to trans people.
“We always take criticism seriously, never more so than when our coverage is accused of misrepresenting a marginalized group,” the 42-year-old Sulzberger said.
“In this case, our editors have listened to concerns with open minds and looked hard at whether our coverage missed the mark.”
He added: “Again and again, those reviews found that the work was rigorously reported and edited, and that our reporters went to great lengths to ensure each piece was written with sensitivity, nuance and care.”
Sulzberger decried the “nonstop attacks” aimed at staffers as well as the “months of threats and harassment.”
“We even had a colleague involved in this coverage confronted in her neighborhood last weekend and spat on,” Sulzberger said.
The Times has been racked by inner turmoil surrounding the question of its coverage of transgender issues.
Last month, several of the Times’ top journalists blasted their own union after the head of the NewsGuild of New York called out management’s “threat” against staffers who publicly sign letters denouncing the newspaper’s coverage.
Several Times staffers signed an open letter circulated by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which has slammed the newspaper for displaying what it claims to be an anti-trans bias.
That letter prompted Joe Kahn, the executive editor, and Kathleen Kingsbury, the opinion editor, to issue a warning to anyone who publicly aired grievances about the paper’s editorial policies.
By: Ny Post