- The New York Times is reviewing a top editor at Times-owned Wirecutter.com, who tweeted scathing messages about the gun-rights group, and for allegedly leaving angry, profane voicemails to the group.
- Tweets by Wirecutter editor Erin Marquis and voicemail each referenced a press release opposing gun control laws sent out by the group Great Lakes Gun Rights.
- The release follows a shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan that left four students dead.
The New York Times said on Friday it was reviewing a top editor of the newspaper wirecutter.com For tweeting scathing messages about a gun-rights group, and for allegedly leaving angry, profane voicemails for the group.
Tweets and alleged voicemails by Wirecutter’s editor-in-chief for computers/networking, Erin Marquis, each came on the heels of a shooting at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit to protest gun control laws sent by the Great Lakes gun rights group In which four students were killed.
Wirecutter.com is a product-recommendation site that the Times bought in 2016.
Marquis was identified by the National Association for Gun Rights as the woman who left two voicemails Thursday for her Michigan affiliate, the Great Lakes group.
“Hello, I’m a reporter for The New York Times. I’m calling just to wonder, I have two questions. How do you sleep at night?” the woman said On a clip posted on YouTube by the national group.
“Aren’t you just, like, a little worried that there might be hell somewhere, and when you meet God he might send you there?” the woman asked.
The woman said, “It seems you are the only one to politicize this, because you are the only people from whom I got the f—– press release.” “Again, I’m from The New York Times, and I’m telling everyone at The New York Times what kind of f—ing as-holes you are. Congratulations on being a laughing stock.”
“You are in ghosts, I hope there is a god in heaven so he judges you when you die,” the woman said in another audio clip.
That group asked on Twitter Friday whether the Times would “apologize and reprimand” the Marquis, who it claims had left.
“We’re not surprised that an angry, liberal, anti-gun New York Times reporter would show her true colors and wish we would burn in hell — we’re glad she was actually so stupid as to leave two voicemails for us. Laugh, And then publish,” Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights, said in a prepared statement.
“We expect our employees to behave in a way that is consistent with our values and commitment to the highest ethical standards,” Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhodes Ha said in an email to CNBC.
“We are currently reviewing the matter with an employee of Wirecutter, our product recommendation site, who does not work in The New York Times newsroom,” the spokesperson said.
The Marquis declined to comment.
The Times, like many other news organizations, has a policy regarding the use of social media by journalists, preventing them from making online commentary that readers may see as biased on political issues.
The National Association for Gun Rights, which says it has 4.5 million members, noted in an email Thursday that earlier in the day it issued a press release to journalists “condemning the gun control bills and government Gretchen Whitmer and The initiative was being taken by Senate Democrats. Michigan Legislature in response to the tragedy at Oxford High School.”
On Thursday afternoon, Marquis tweeted: “Just got a press release from the Great Lakes Gun Rights Organization about gun rights defense from Democrats in Michigan and I’m literally trembling with anger.”
“I hope there is a god and they [meet] That god someday,” Marquis wrote.
“My brother and sister-in-law are both teachers in the suburbs,” Marquis wrote in another tweet.
He then gave the group’s phone number and email, “If you want to express your displeasure.”
That tweet contained a screen grab of an email she sent to the group, which said, “Get me off your mailing list, you f—— ghouls.”
Marquis deleted those tweets and removed her Twitter account from public view after the National Association for Gun Rights issued a press release that identified her as a Michigan-affiliated woman.
Guidance updated in November 2020 and published on the newspaper’s website, The Times said, “Social media presents a potential risk to the Times.”
“If our journalists are perceived as biased or if they engage in editorialization on social media, it could undermine the credibility of the entire newsroom,” the guidance says. “We have always made it clear that newsroom staff should refrain from posting anything on social media that damages our reputation for neutrality and fairness.”
“In social media posts, our journalists must not express biased opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive remarks or do anything that undermines the journalistic reputation of the Times. Yes,” says the policy.
“Our journalists must be especially careful to take sides on issues the Times is seeking to cover fairly.”