New York Times Accused of ‘Racially Targeted Witch Hunt’ in Leaks Probe

An investigation into leaks quickly became “a vehicle for harassment and intimidation,” a union leader says. Published Mar. 01, 2024 10:00PM EST Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesThe New York Times has been accused of “racially targeting” employees amid an investigation into leaks from the newsroom about the paper’s coverage of Hamas attacks on Israel. The president of the NewsGuild, which

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An investigation into leaks quickly became “a vehicle for harassment and intimidation,” a union leader says.

Edith Olmsted

The New York Times building stands in Midtown on February src7, 2src24 in New York City.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The New York Times has been accused of “racially targeting” employees amid an investigation into leaks from the newsroom about the paper’s coverage of Hamas attacks on Israel.

The president of the NewsGuild, which represents employees of the newspaper, sent a letter to New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger claiming that meetings held with employees as part of the investigation had turned into a “a vehicle for the harassment and intimidation” of union members.

Members of the Middle Eastern and North African Times Employee Resource Group faced extensive questions about their views on the coverage of Gaza, and were ordered to turn over a list of all active members, as well as personal communications with their colleagues, President Susan DeCarava alleged.

“The end result is that Guild-represented journalists were targeted for their national origin, ethnicity, and race creating an ominous chilling effect,” the letter said.

DeCarava called for an immediate end to “what has become a destructive and racially targeted witch hunt.” In a statement to The Washington Post, a spokesperson for the Times called the allegations “preposterous.”

The investigation into leaks stemmed from an exposé by The Intercept about the halted production of an episode of The Daily that centered on a report of mass sexual assault from the legacy newspaper that was later subject to scrutiny.

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