New York Times Fires Editorial Board Member Hours After Hiring Her

Quinn Norton frequently used slurs, said she's 'friends with various neo-Nazis' on Twitter (Updated)


UPDATED Wednesday, 10:30 A.M.: The New York Times fired journalist Quinn Norton on Tuesday night, just hours after announcing that she joined the newspaper's editorial board as its lead technology opinion writer.

Social media users quickly flagged Norton's use of racial and homophobic slurs on Twitter, as well as her publicizing friendships with neo-Nazis after her hiring.

"Despite our review of Quinn Norton's work and our conversations with her previous employers, this was new information to us," the Times‘ editorial page editor, James Bennet, said in a statement. "Based on it, we've decided to go our separate ways."

Below is the original story on Norton's hire, before she was fired:

The New York Times announced Tuesday that Quinn Norton has joined the newspaper's editorial board, before saying hours later that it is investigating the journalist for past tweets in which she used slurs and discussed her friendships with neo-Nazis.

The Times‘ press office said the paper is "delighted to announce" Quinn will be its "lead opinion writer on the power, culture, and consequences of technology."

"We're excited to have Quinn to help our readers understand what's possible and what's sensible, and where we're all headed," the announcement read.

Twitter users quickly flagged Norton's past controversial tweets, including ones in which she said that she is "friends with various neo-Nazis"—though she clarified that she has "never agreed with them"—and used various slurs.

In October 2014, when a Twitter user asked Norton whether she is friends with neo-Nazis, the journalist responded that she is indeed.

Norton then said there is a chance the neo-Nazis who she knows will not hurt minorities because she is friends with them.

Last November, when asked whether she is friends with Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer, a notorious neo-Nazi and white supremacist, Norton wrote that she says his views are "dumb every time we talk."

HuffPost noted that, in another tweet from last year, Norton wrote, "Weev is a terrible person, & an old friend of mine. I've been very clear on this. Some of my friend are terrible people, & also my friends."

Norton has also used the word "n—er" on Twitter several times and previously said that, "as far as I'm concerned, no one is a terrorist."

Beyond racial slurs, Norton has frequently used slurs to refer to homosexual people.

Outside of Twitter, Norton has also publicized controversial opinions. In an article published in December 2013 titled "The Morality of John Rabe: Honor and Choice in Times of Genocide," Norton wrote that Rabe, a Nazi Party member who died after World War II, "is my personal patron saint of moral complexity."

It is unclear whether the Times knew about Norton's tweets before hiring her. Hours after the Times publicized its latest hire, the paper confirmed that it is investigating Norton for her past tweets, according to HuffPost.

"We are very concerned about the tweets that are circulating today and are looking into the matter," a Times spokesperson said.

In a blog post about her hiring, Norton said she is "as surprised as you are."

"I haven't tried to make myself look more professionally acceptable, more conventional, or any of that, for the benefit of my new employer," she wrote. "I plan to just be me, and bring my ideas to the table. I hope those ideas help."

"And if that doesn't work out, no harm no foul."

Conor Beck

Conor Beck   Email Conor | Full Bio | RSS
Conor Beck is a Media Analyst for the WFB. He's previously written for The College Fix, Life News, and was a Student Free Press Association Fellow for The Weekly Standard. He graduated from Rice University in 2017.

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