Social media erupts after cancel culture claims career of 47-year NYTimes journalist

The New York Times fired science and health reporter Donald McNeil Jr. after it was reported that he used a racial epithet in front of students on an educational trip to Peru in 2019.

Initially the Times reprimanded McNeil over the incident but it was hit with criticism from those who said it was not taking the incident seriously enough. On Friday, McNeil was fired after 47 years with the company.

Social media erupted after he released a statement about the incident and apologized while explaining the innocuous circumstances of his use of the epithet.

“On a 2019 New York Times trip for Peru for high school students, I was asked at dinner by a student whether I thought a classmate of hers should have been suspended for a video she had made as a 12-year-old in which she used a racial slur,” he explained.

“To understand what was in the video, I asked if she had called someone else the slur or whether she was rapping or quoting a book title. In asking the question, I used the slur itself,” he continued.

“I should not have done that,” McNeil wrote.

“Originally, I thought the context in which I used this ugly word could be defended. I now realize that it cannot. It is deeply offensive and hurtful. The fact that I even thought I could defend it itself showed extraordinarily bad judgement. For that I apologize,” he continued.

“To the students on the trip, I also extend my sincerest apology. But my apology needs to be broader than that. My lapse of judgement has hurt my colleagues in Science, the hundreds of people who trusted me to work with them closely during this pandemic, the team at ‘The Daily’ that turned to me during this frightening year, and the whole institution, which put its confidence in me and expected better,” he added.

“So for offending my colleagues — and for anything I’ve done to hurt The Times, which is an institution I love and whose mission I believe in and try to serve — I am sorry,” McNeil concluded. “I let you all down.”

Many on social media were outraged that a journalist with a celebrated 47-year career was undone by what using an racial slur in an unintentionally offensive manner.

“This reads like a confession procured by the Khmer Rouge. It’s both ridiculous and terrifying,” replied Andrew Sullivan.

“A culture that lacks grace is both punitive and miserable. Does intent matter? Does forgiveness exist?” asked David French.

“It is now official NYT policy that for some words, intent does not matter, and it only takes one strike to sink a 47-year career,” said Reason editor-at-large Matt Welch.

“This reads like a Bolshevik at his own show trial admitting he’d betrayed the revolution even though he never meant to betray the revolution because he loves the revolution,” said Peter Savodnik of Vanity Fair.

Here’s an interview with McNeil on PBS on the pandemic:

11 thoughts on “Social media erupts after cancel culture claims career of 47-year NYTimes journalist

  1. OK folks. This CRAP HAS TO STOP. If you intend for ANYONE to fundamentally put to death for saying one word we’ve lost ourselves as a culture.

  2. How insane!! To think an outstanding N. Y. Times Journalist loses his job after 47 years over a spoken word. It is such a sad thing to see our society become this bizarre! The N.Y. Times has the backbone of a swamp creature and the American people will stop purchasing your communist rag of a paper. The N.Y. Times needs to report the real news. News about the rampant Pedophilia among the Elites and the kidnapping of women and children to satisfy the thirst for blood and abuse. You are missing the boat!! Tell the American people the truth!! Who cares about a misspoken word? Not me or anyone that I personally know!

  3. More liberal insanity at its finest! What next, line em up against the wall and execute if you don’t agree with any thing said! Stop this insanity libretards!!

  4. Got to love it when the socialist media devours each other! Hope to see more of it! There is no one without a fault in the media, so just chomp on one another. Bioapatite !!!

  5. All this wording that is getting decent people fired is bs. we are living in a controlled society that feels it can destroy a persons life just cause they said a ‘slur’. Prior to the ‘PC CROUD, there was no such thing as a really bad word. True there were slang. Slang were various words used by some and others felt them to be insulting. However, they were just words and a such words are just that; i.e. any word then say white is a slang. Are those fired and their lives destroyed. Why not. Life is a two way street.

  6. When libturds start eating their own, its a good day. He obviously doesn’t have any principals himself, sucking up to those morons, apologizing and kissing their azzes.

  7. Next we will be declaring negro culture a notional treasure rather than the mess most African cultures are!! At the same time one of the new Georgia senators (Warnock) claims to be a REAL, ordained Baptist minister who doesn’t think Jesus was divine, wants abortion on demand and support homosexuals! Sounds like he is another grad of the Union Theological Seminary just like Obama’s favorite minister at the church Obama attended for over 2 decades! That nut was an exterem racist and good buddies with James Cone (Prof Emeritus at Union) who said blacks should go out and kill whites cause whites mistreated blacks! Cone didn’t comment on the fact that most all slaves were sold to whites by other blacks…….

  8. This is pure BS. I don’t care if he did use the word on purpose. What happened to free speech. The next company I see that takes this kind of action I’m going to boycott them and hope others join me. In this case I think the apology was the 2nd mistake.

  9. There is No Free Speech, it is slowly disappearing.
    Maxine Waters should be fired along with Schumer and the rest, Pelosi included.

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