NY Times Hires, Quickly Fires Journalist With History of Homophobic Tweets

The esteemed paper announced Tuesday that it had hired tech writer Quinn Norton. Within hours, they ditched her—as a history of using gay slurs and the n-word surfaced on Twitter.

YouTube/The Daily Beast

Less than 24 hours after she was hired, The New York Times on Tuesday fired editorial board member Quinn Norton, after a history of homophobic and racially insensitive tweets were uncovered.

Early on Tuesday, the paper announced in a statement that it had hired notable technology writer Quinn Norton as its editorial board’s “lead opinion writer on the power, culture and consequences of technology.” (Norton contributed two tech-related pieces to The Daily Beast in 2014.)

Shortly thereafter, many of Norton’s controversial tweets began to resurface. Twitter users uncovered multiple instances in which she used the n-word, or gay slurs like “faggot” or “fag,” to refer to various users on the social-media platform.

Other critics pointed out her chummy exchanges with a user who’d tweeted numerous anti-Semitic statements, and highlighted old tweets in which she explained that she was proudly friends with neo-Nazis.

The New York Times initially said in a statement that the paper was “very concerned” about Norton’s tweets, and would investigate the matter.

Shortly thereafter, however, Norton announced on Twitter that she will no longer join the Times.

“I’m sorry I can’t do the work I wanted to do with them. I wish there had been a way, but ultimately, they need to feel safe with how the net will react to their opinion writers,” she wrote. In a lengthy thread of tweets, she attempted to explain the context behind her use of the various slurs.

In an email to The Daily Beast, Norton said she’s likely write a story about the incident later this week.

The New York Times later issued a statement: “Despite our review of Quinn Norton's work and our conversations with her previous employers, this was new information to us. Based on it, we've decided to go our separate ways.”