Criticizing Public Figures, Including Influential Journalists, is Not Harassment or Abuse – IOTW Report

Criticizing Public Figures, Including Influential Journalists, is Not Harassment or Abuse

Glenn Greenwald

The most powerful and influential newspaper in the U.S., arguably the West, is The New York Times. Journalists who write for it, especially those whose work is featured on its front page or in its op-ed section, wield immense power to shape public discourse, influence thought, set the political agenda for the planet’s most powerful nation, expose injustices, or ruin the lives of public figures and private citizens alike. That is an enormous amount of power in the hands of one media institution and its employees. That’s why it calls itself the Paper of Record.

One of the Paper of Record’s star reporters, Taylor Lorenz, has been much discussed of late. That is so for three reasons. The first is that the thirty-six-year-old tech and culture reporter has helped innovate a new kind of reportorial beat that seems to have a couple of purposes. She publishes articles exploring in great detail the online culture of teenagers and very young adults, which, as a father of two young Tik-Tok-using children, I have found occasionally and mildly interesting. She also seeks to catch famous and non-famous people alike using bad words or being in close digital proximity to bad people so that she can alert the rest of the world to these important findings. It is natural that journalists who pioneer a new form of reporting this way are going to be discussed.

The second reason Lorenz is the topic of recent discussion is that she has been repeatedly caught fabricating claims about influential people, and attempting to ruin the reputations and lives of decidedly non-famous people. In the last six weeks alone, she twice publicly lied about Netscape founder Marc Andreessen: once claiming he used the word “retarded” in a Clubhouse room in which she was lurking (he had not) and then accusing him of plotting with a white nationalist in a different Clubhouse room to attack her (he, in fact, had said nothing). more

9 Comments on Criticizing Public Figures, Including Influential Journalists, is Not Harassment or Abuse

  1. My political leanings have made me a racist, white supremacist, nazi, deplorable domestic terrorist and they worry about my criticism?

  2. It was the worst of times.
    It was the New York Times.
    (Shamelessly stolen from Ah Clem)

  3. It’s true. Nobody with objective thinking reads the NYT anymore because the propaganda is so overt, not much different from the grocery store tabloids these days. A typical NYT reader likes to be seen reading the magazine section while having Sunday brunch at the club on the upper West Side.

  4. Not abuse. Not harassment. And also, not a journalist.

    These people consider themselves guardians of a narrative. On what they consider a good day, they think they form the narrative.

    So journalists? No. And reporters? Also, no. Fact checkers? That’s strike three.

  5. It used to be called “The Price of Fame”.
    Now all these ingrates are crying about the unintended consequences of international recognition?
    Suck it up, buttercup.
    And invest wisely; it doesn’t last forever.

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