In an unusual example of a writer for a major newspaper attacking another, Avi Selk, reporter for the Washington Post, callously suggested that liberal iconoclast and New York Times editorial writer Bari Weiss was getting what was coming to her in terms of online obloquy for her crimes against left-wing hyper-sensitivity.
The headline to the Arts & Entertainment “analysis” piece was even worse than the text: “A New York Times columnist blamed a far-left ‘mob’ for her woes. But maybe she deserves them.”
Weiss deserved being called a racist and getting death wishes on Twitter?
Selk acted as if Weiss is the only journalist who deletes tweets (and not emphasizing the personalized pressure tactics left-wing Twitterari are fond of).
After retracting public comments three times in a little over a month, New York Times opinion columnist Bari Weiss defended her columns and tweets Friday, claiming a social media “mob” is smearing anyone who departs from far-left political orthodoxy.
“Saying ‘I am offended’ is a way of making someone radioactive; a way of smearing their reputation,” Weiss told HBO’s Bill Maher, two days after the Times corrected her essay criticizing college protest movements because she had quoted a hoax site.
But Maher didn’t press Weiss much over the incidents that have actually got her into trouble -- which arguably have more to do with sloppiness than politics.
The Times hired Weiss last year as part of what an editor described as the paper’s effort to expand its opinion writing into “many shades of conservatism and many shades of liberalism.”
....Weiss caused a furor with a tweet about something as innocuous as the Winter Olympics.
Figure skater Mirai Nagasu had just become the first American woman to land a triple axel.
In praise, Weiss tweeted: “Immigrants: They get the job done.”
Weiss has since deleted the original tweet, and told The Washington Post that she regrets it “left any room for interpretation. If anyone was hurt by it, I am sorry.”
But at the time, she lashed out.
“For this tweet I am being told I am a racist, a ghoul and that I deserve to die,” she wrote. “So I deleted the tweet. That’s where we are.”
Selk’s piece included an embedded Weiss tweet noting that her immigrant quote was from the musical Hamilton (which everyone in Manhattan journalism would surely recognize), but Selk himself didn’t mention that relevant part. Then he waved the left-wing hate mobs away:
Some indeed had called her a racist and ghoul, but the bulk of the criticism focused on her apparent conflation of an Asian American and an immigrant....“She seemed genuinely confused about the substantive difference,” wrote GQ.
Selk couldn’t bear the thought of Weiss getting the last word after being attacked with death wishes for an innocuous tweet:
Toward the end of the segment, Weiss said she worried that the left’s haste to take offense would hinder free speech for everyone.
He used that comment to paint Weiss as a hypocrite.
Weiss did not mention that in February, a few days before she tweeted about the figure skater, she had asked another writer to publicly apologize for a tweet that contained the word “f--.”
Weiss issued another mea culpa this month, after she wrote a column for the Times about left-wing student groups’ “concerted attempt to significantly redraw the bounds of acceptable thought and speech.”
(She got fooled, as many others have, by @OfficialAntifa, a hoax site.)
So Weiss’s column was corrected and, once again, she issued regrets for the mistake.
Then two days later, she went on Maher’s show to defend her record. Not that he really asked about it.
It’s not exactly unheard of for journalists to err, as a Washington Post reporter should well know.
Speaking of shaky journalism, Selk himself previously insinuated that Trump wanted PBS’s budget cut because Sesame Street mocked him, and falsely claimed Trump “bowed” before Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.
Everyone makes mistakes. What is unique in Weiss’s case are the left-wing mobs aiming to keep the New York Times pristine in its political correctness, with the slightest of missteps used as pretext to demand firings.