November 15, 2019

NYT Editor Deletes, Apologizes for ‘Offensive’ Tweets, Including ‘Crappy Jew Year’

Photo from Pixabay.

New York Times Senior Editor Tom Wright-Piersanti apologized for his “offensive” tweets from his past on Aug. 22. He deleted many of them, including tweets about Jews.

Among Wright-Piersanti’s tweets include a Jan. 2010 tweet that stated, “I was going to say ‘Crappy Jew Year,’ but one of my resolutions is to be less anti-Semitic. So… HAPPY Jew Year! You Jews.”

Wright-Piersanti also tweeted about the Holocaust that same year. In one Jan. 2010 tweet, he wrote, “Hahahahaha the Jesus Camp kids just did a special on the Pledge of Allegiance to the Bible and my dad ended it with ‘Praise Hitler.’” 

He also tweeted to Joe Jonas later in the year, “What’s your favorite Sleighbells the band lyrics? Mine is ‘Flip that Holocaust, hang it on the colored cross.’”

Additionally, in 2009, Wright-Piersanti shared a photo of a vehicle carrying a menorah and asked, “Who called the Jew police?”

“I have deleted tweets from a decade ago that are offensive,” he wrote Aug. 22. “I am deeply sorry.”

Wright-Piersanti’s Twitter account is currently protected due to his privacy settings.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), the sole Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives, called for the Times to fire Wright-Piersanti in an Aug. 22 tweet.

“.@nytimes has a political editor @tomwp who literally describes himself on Twitter as anti-Semitic & has slammed Jews, Native American Indians & others,” Zeldin wrote. “This isn’t an intern. It’s an editor. Someone should walkover to his desk, tell him to pack up & escort him out.”

Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Journal in a phone interview, “What would or did The New York Times do to someone in a position of responsibility who made expressions of anti-African, anti-Latino, or anti-LGBTQ? Whatever they did in responding to them, they should be applied to him.”

He proceeded to call for the Times to undergo a “top-to-bottom review” from the outside about their “views regarding the Jewish people” and make “structural changes.” 

Cooper said that he and Simon Wiesenthal Center Founder Rabbi Marvin Hier had met with three members of the Times editorial board during the ensuing aftermath of the controversy in May regarding a cartoon showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu guiding a blind President Donald Trump. Cooper said “It’s clear that the Times has a problem and they may have a cultural problem that they’re going to have to deal with in house.” 

Earlier in the month, Times Deputy Washington Editor Jonathan Weisman, who wrote a book in March 2018 about anti-Semitism, was demoted over racial tweets the Times viewed as “serious lapses in judgment.” Weisman apologized for the tweets.

Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoads told the Washington Examiner, “We are aware of these tweets, which are a clear violation of our standards. We are reviewing next steps.”