The New York Times responds to criticism from the Nazi sympathizer profile


  The New York Times is criticized for its profile as a Nazi sympathizer.
The New York Times is criticized for its profile as a Nazi sympathizer.

Image: spencer platt / Getty Images

  2016% 2f10% 2f03% 2f8a% 2fscreenshot20161003at5.13.14pm.149f5 By Kerry Flynn

A New York Times profile of a self-styled white supremacist sent the internet into a fury so hot that the newspaper responded on Sunday with an explanation of 706 words.

Readers were annoyed at how the profile of Tony Hovater, an Ohio man described as the "Nazi sympathizer next door," normalized his behavior. The piece leads with her wedding plans, mentions her love for Seinfeld and Twin Peaks, and includes an image of him making purchases.

Written by the national editor Marc Lacey, the response published in the Readers Center of the Times addressed this criticism and others.

"We understand that some readers wanted more rejection, and we heard it loud and clear," Lacey wrote, adding: "We regret the degree to which the piece offended so many readers." We recognize that people may disagree about the best But what we believe is indisputable is the need to shed more light, not less, in the most extreme corners of life and the American people who live in them. , although imperfectly, he tried to do. "

The NYT did not intend to disinfect white supremacy, but rather to show that extremists live among Americans, Lacey wrote. The profile was originally published online with the headline "In the heart of the United States, the Nazi sympathizer next door". Later it was changed to "A voice of hatred in the heart of the United States" and remained so until the publication of this post.

Lacey highlighted a complaint from a Twitter user whose biography says "registered nurse, mother, grandmother" that sums up the general reaction.

@nytimes I am surprised and disgusted by this article. Attempt to "normalize" white supremacist groups – they should never have been printed!

– Jansty (@ JanetStyles5) November 25, 2017

According to Lacey, the story was released after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August. Richard Fausset, who posted a behind-the-scenes look at his timed reports with the piece, was badigned the profile and spent time in Ohio meeting Hovater and writing dispatches among other badignments.

Charlie Warzel, a journalist at BuzzFeed suggested that the story should have appeared in a tweet on Saturday. He argued that one of the fatal flaws of the piece was his inability to discover why Hovater sympathized with the Nazis.

For Warzel, one of the reasons for Hovater's odious ideology is the growing control of the so-called alt-right in certain corners of the Internet. The NYT profile only refers to the online presence of the white nationalist movement, and the Hovater connection, once. Hovater mentions 4chan, an anonymous online message board that has become a meeting place for Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups, for the journalist in Panera while eating turkey sandwiches: "He spoke of his presence in 4chan, the online message "That's where frightening fears come from," he said deadpan.

In response to the NYT story, Warzel explored Hovater's social media profiles and interviewed him through Facebook messenger. Buzzfeed posted his profile continuation of New York Times on Sunday titled "The New York Times can not understand where the Nazis come from in 2017. Pepe has an answer."

Hovater affirmed Warzel He had not been radicalized on the Internet, but Warzel points out numerous times that Hovater's social networks and Internet use aligned with the right-wing community.

Warzel discovered " e-mail to Pepe the frog, alt-right comic Sam Hyde, [and] Infowars & # 39; Alex Jones. "One of Hovater's Instagram posts was taken outside the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria, home to the online conspiracy of Pizzagate.

"Hovater published the photo of himself with a knowing smile without comment," wrote Warzel.

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