New York Times tech and internet culture reporter Taylor Lorenz is facing intense backlash for leveling a false charge against business tech entrep
New York Times tech and internet culture reporter Taylor Lorenz is facing intense backlash for leveling a false charge against business tech entrepeneur Marc Andreessen.
Late Saturday, Lorenz alleged on Twitter that the Silicon Valley investor used what she called the “r-slur” during a conversation on the audio-driven social media app Clubhouse about Redditors’ recent splash on Wall Street that promped the surge of GameStop’s stock price.
“@pmarca just used openly using the r-slur on Clubhouse tonight and not one othe person in the room called him on it or saying anything,” Lorenz tweeted.
Andreessen’s colleague Naithan Jones, who was moderating the chatroom in question, corrected Lorenz, explaining that another user, Felicia Horowitz, spoke about Redditors referring to themselves as “R-word revolution” but that Andressen himself “never used that word, ever.”
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“This is why people block because of this horse s— dishonesty,’ Jones tweeted.
Lorenz then deleted the tweet, replying to Jones, “Thanks for clarifying that it was Felicia saying that word, rather than Marc as many in the room heard it. I hope you can understand how some people in the room felt hearing it.”
Lorenz was widely criticized on social media for her error.
“Taylor is another petty Professional Tattletale masquerading as a journalist,” Clubhouse participant Kmele Foster of “The Fifth Column” podcast reacted. “Her *reports* should be regarded w/ the highest degree of skepticism. Is NYT determined to geyser all semblance of respectability?”
“Besides the fact that a New York Times reporter recklessly tried to destroy someone’s reputation, what is wrong with this episode? Everything,” journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote on Substack. “Lorenz herself has been obsessed with monitoring Clubhouse discussions in general and Andreessen in particular for months, mocking him just last week when she obtained a fake credential to enter.”
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“Just take a second to ponder how infantile and despotic, in equal parts, all of this is. This NYT reporter used her platform to virtually jump out of her desk to run to the teacher and exclaim: he used the r word! This is what she tried for months to accomplish: to catch people in private communications using words that are prohibited or ideas that are banned to tell on them to the public. That she got it all wrong is arguably the least humiliating and pathetic aspect of all of this,” Greenwald said.
Fellow Substack writer Matt Taibbi agreed with Greenwald, calling Lorenz a “dunce of historic proportions unleashed on the world by the New York Times.”
Journalist Adam Penenberg pulled up the Times’ “Ethical Jouralism” standards, suggesting Lorenz may have violated her paper’s policies pointing to its “Pursing the News” section.
“Staff members should disclose their identity to people they cover (whether face to face or otherwise), though they need not always announce their status as journalists when seeking information normally available to the public,” the Times policy states. “Theater, music and art critics and other writers who review goods or services offered to the public may conceal their Times connection but may not normally assert a false identity or affiliation.”
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Lorenz set her Twitter account to private amid the backlash.
The Times did not immediately respond to Fox News’ requests for comment.