Bigotry of Charles Blow and the New York Times

By Hewitt, Hugh | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, February 27, 2012 | Go to article overview

Bigotry of Charles Blow and the New York Times


Hewitt, Hugh, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Has the New York Times created a hostile work environment toward Mormons and perhaps members of other religious faiths such that they could sue the newspaper to stop its encouragement of or at least indifference to the bigotry of its employees and perhaps management?

The facts are simple. Times columnist Charles Blow is not very well known and far from influential, but he does have a column and is esteemed enough by the papers management to be given frequent and prominent placement within the papers website.

During last weeks GOP debate, Blow tweeted, let me just tell you this Mitt Muddle Mouth: Im a single parent and my kids are *amazing*! Stick that in your magic underwear.

National Reviews Jim Geraghty was the first conservative to notice Blows casual disparagement of Latter-day Saints religious practice. Would the New York Times find it acceptable if one of their columnists chose to mock Muslim religious practices? Geraghty asked. Jewish faith practices?

Had a National Review columnist written during the 2000 debates about Joe Lieberman that the Connecticut senator and Democratic nominee for vice president stick that under his yarmulke, would it have gone unremarked upon by the Manhattan-Beltway media elite?

Blows burst of bigotry came within days of an ESPN headline writer being fired in the Jeremy Lin affair, and weeks after CNNs Roland Martin was suspended for tweeting comments thought offensive to gays during the Super Bowl.

On Friday morning, after criticism began to mount about Blows bigotry, Blow tweeted Btw, the comment I made about Mormonism during Wed.s debate was inappropriate, and I regret it. Im willing to admit that with no caveats.

Geraghty inquired of the Times public editor about the standard the paper employs regarding religious bigotry of the sort casually engaged in by Blow, and got back a response that concluded that [b]ecause the writer in this case is an op-ed writer, whose opinions are his own, I do not plan to intervene to disagree with the opinion itself. But I think tweets of this kind are a mistake.

Thus, the papers official arbiter of such matters declared religious bigotry within the op-ed pages to be not his concern. Perhaps, however, the papers lawyers ought to be concerned.

Joshua Friedman, a civil rights lawyer in New York state provides a nice summary of the complexities of hostile-environment law in the city and state of New York and, of course, at the federal level as well. …

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