New York Times public editor walks back comments about newspaper's journalists after firestorm of criticism

Liz SpaydFacebookNew York Times public editor Liz Spayd.

New York Times public editor Liz Spayd on Tuesday morning walked back remarks she made last week in which she suggested certain Times journalists should have been disciplined for what she characterised as “outrageous” tweets critical of President-elect Donald Trump.

“In retrospect, I should have held back more, not knowing what the context was for the tweets,” Spayd told Politico. “I think that’s a fair criticism.”

“But I stand by my view that journalists should be careful, sometimes more careful than they are, with what they say on social media,” she added. “That includes how it can be interpreted.”

Spayd had initially told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday night that some Times journalists went “over the line” with their criticism of Trump on Twitter.

“I do think that when people go over the line like that, and I think some of those are over the line, that there ought to be some kind of consequence for that,” she said.

The comments inflamed reporters from dozens of publications. Many turned to Twitter to skewer Spayd’s remarks, with some even calling for her to submit her resignation. One of the Times reporters whose tweets she criticised even addressed the controversy, saying on Twitter he “called it as I saw it.”

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