A New York Times editor lost her job after she tweeted about having 'chills' about Biden's inauguration

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The New York Times building in Manhattan. Photo by Oliver Morris/Getty Images

  • New York Times editor Lauren Wolfe tweeted about having "chills" seeing Biden arrive for his inauguration.

  • Many criticized her for appearing to show political bias, and The Times later fired Wolfe.

  • The paper denied that Wolfe had been fired "over a single tweet."

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Video: Highlights from Joe Biden’s inauguration

A New York Times editor lost her job after receiving criticism for tweeting about her excitement for President Joe Biden's inauguration.

Journalist Yashar Ali broke the news of Lauren Wolfe's departure from The Times in a series of tweets last Thursday, saying that she had been let go from her editing job at The Times for tweeting about her "chills" seeing Biden land at Joint Base Andrews on the eve of his inauguration.

"Biden landing at Joint Base Andrews now. I have chills," she tweeted on January 19, adding a screengrab from CNN of a plane landing.

According to Ali, Wolfe also tweeted that the Trump administration had been "childish" in not giving Biden a military plane to fly to Washington, DC, but later deleted that post when people pointed out that Biden had chosen to fly private.

—Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 22, 2021

Many conservatives ripped Wolfe for appearing to show a political bias, Ali and The Washington Post both reported.

In a Monday statement to Insider, a spokesperson for The Times said there was a lot of "inaccurate information" out there about Wolfe's firing, and said it wasn't over a single tweet.

"For privacy reasons we don't go into the details of personnel matters, but we can say that we didn't end someone's employment over a single tweet," spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha said.

"Out of respect for the individuals involved, we don't plan to comment further."

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Lauren Wolfe (right) with journalist Laura Bates in New York City in 2015. Cindy Ord/Getty Images for The Women's Media Center

Wolfe had previously received a warning from The Times over her "borderline political" tweets and told they had to end, a person familiar with the conversation told Insider.

Wolfe has not returned Insider's request for comment. However, she has posted about her firing on social media, saying she is now left without a job during the pandemic.

"Hard to fathom all the talk of 'cancel culture' on my timeline while I'm left without an income during a pandemic," she tweeted. "I'm not an ideology, I'm a hard-working person who can no longer pay her bills."

—Lauren Wolfe (@Wolfe321) January 23, 2021

She also told her followers not to unsubscribe from The Times in protest.

"I truly appreciate everyone's support but I need to ask you a favor: PLEASE don't unsubscribe from @nytimes," she tweeted. "I have loved this paper and its mission my whole life. Their journalism is some of the most important & best in the world, & they need to be read widely."

—Lauren Wolfe (@Wolfe321) January 24, 2021

According to Ali, Wolfe mostly edited stories that were on The Times' live page, related to the pandemic and breaking-news events. The Times said that she was working on a freelance basis and was not a full-time employee.

The Times' social-media guidelines for newsroom employees ask that journalists "not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments or do anything else that undercuts The Times's journalistic reputation." Many other outlets, including Insider, have similar guidelines.

The guild that represents Times workers tweeted Sunday that they have reached out to Wolfe offering "support and representation."

"We can't say more while we are investigating the situation, but we believe all our members deserve due process and just cause protections, the very rights that are fundamental to independent, objective journalism," the guild wrote.

Many users on social media, including fellow journalists, have criticized The Times for firing Wolfe over what they see as a minor infraction.

They also pointed out that reporters they believe committed more serious actions, such as Glenn Thrush and Andy Mills, and kept their jobs.

Thrush was suspended from The Times over sexual-misconduct allegations in 2017, but was eventually allowed to return to working at the paper. Mills, who produced the newspaper's "Caliphate" podcast - which relied on a source who made false statements about terrorism - remains a producer at The Times

—Dave Wagner (@Dbwagner104) January 24, 2021

—Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) January 24, 2021

—Lauren Hough (@laurenthehough) January 24, 2021

—Sulome (@SulomeAnderson) January 22, 2021

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