Twitter Past Haunts New York Times’ New Lead Technology Writer

August 2, 2018 Updated: October 5, 2018    

When The New York Times appointed Sarah Jeong as the lead technology writer at the newspaper, a group of Reddit users researched her past and found social-media posts that suggest hatred of one particular race—whites. The paper has since stated it “does not condone” Jeong’s behavior.

A 2014 Harvard law graduate, Jeong switched from a writing job at The Verge to join the NYT editorial board, the paper announced on Aug. 1. She’s previously had pieces published in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and other publications.

It was her latest career step that triggered scrutiny of her busy Twitter feed.

“[Expletive] [expletive] white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs [expletive] on fire hydrants,” she wrote in a November 2014 tweet.

A month later, she asked whether “white people [are] genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins.”

She then added “graphs” showing the more “white” a person is, the more “awful” he or she is and the more “weird dog smell when it rains” the person has.

“But I don’t smell like dog when it rains!’ you might protest,” she continued. “Well you wouldn’t know, would you.”

Earlier that year, she wrote, “oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.”

Her recent tweets don’t appear to contain similar commentary.

Neither Jeong nor the NYT responded to requests for comment by The Epoch Times, but both posted statements on Twitter about an hour after the requests.

Jeong said her posts were meant as “satire” and “counter-trolling” after offensive messages were addressed to her on Twitter. “I deeply regret that I mimicked the language of my harassers,” she stated. “I can understand how hurtful these posts are out of context, and would not do it again.”

The NYT stated in a tweet on Aug. 2 that Jeong “understands that this type of rhetoric is not acceptable at The Times and we are confident that she will be an important voice for the editorial board moving forward.”

A South Korean immigrant, Jeong has been vocal on immigration issues and, in June, joined the call of some prominent Democrats to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Jeong went further, backing the abolishment of the entire Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“I remember when the letterhead on my immigration documents changed. Dismantling DHS, abolishing ICE: why not? All of these things are relatively new institutions,” she said in a June 18 tweet.

The DHS was set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and absorbed 22 existing federal agencies, including those responsible for immigration matters—the now dissolved U.S. Customs Service, and Immigration and Naturalization Service. Some of their duties were picked up by the newly formed ICE and include tracking down and deporting illegal aliens, as well as investigating human trafficking, drug and arms trafficking, transnational gangs, and more.

A demonstration at the Federal Building in lower Manhattan against the Trump administration's immigration policies on June 1, 2018. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A demonstration at the Federal Building in Lower Manhattan against the Trump administration’s immigration policies on June 1, 2018. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Aside from removing illegal immigrants marked for deportation, ICE agents—on an average day in 2016, for example—arrested seven child predators, seized 4,000 pounds of narcotics, arrested 13 transnational gang members, and refused 24 visas due to terrorist connections, according to the agency.

The call to discard ICE has been taken up by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), but more than 2 in 3 Americans opposed such a move in a June Harvard-Harris poll.

“If you can’t deport someone in the country illegally—if that lawful response is taken off the table—then there is simply no more national sovereignty, and the citizens of the country have lost any say over who comes into the country, and immigration policy is set then by people living outside the country,” said Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, in a previous interview.

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