"How do you sleep at night?" NYT suspends top subsidiary editor after bizarre anti-gun rant

Old and busted: “How do you sleep at night?” New hotness, Erin Marquis style: “How do you pay for groceries in daytime?” A gun-rights group in Michigan sent out a press release opposing more gun-control measures in the wake of the school shooting, following calls for more restrictions. This has become a tedious post-shooting cycle, usually featuring restrictions that later information shows would not have done anything to prevent the shooting in question.

Part of that cycle is the media coverage of the controversy, certainly a fair topic to cover. Usually, however, that coverage tilts so heavily against gun owners that the Great Lakes Gun Rights group must have been pleasantly surprised to get a call from a New York Times senior editor. Momentarily, anyway.

The GLGR published the two voice mail messages to YouTube that Marquis, who runs ran the NYT’s Wirecutter subsidiary, left on GLGR’s system. The image in the background is apparently a professional headshot of Marquis:

Hi, I’m a journalist with the New York Times. I’m just calling to wonder…I have two questions. How do you sleep at night? And aren’t you just like a little bit worried that there might be a hell and when you meet God he will send you there?

That’s just my only question.

Third question. The only people politicizing this seems to be you because you’re the only people I got a f@cking press release from.

Again, I am from the New York Times and I’m letting everyone in the New York Times know what kind of f@cking a$$holes you are. Congrats on being a laughing stock.

You f@cking ghouls. I hope that there is a God in heaven so he judges you when you die.

But hey, there’s no such thing as media bias, right?

In case anyone is inclined to pass this off as one moment of bad judgment, Marquis followed this up with a series of “scathing” tweets. Marquis has since either taken down that account or made it private, but CNBC’s Jeremy Barr saw at least a couple of them. Marquis more or less repurposed her voice-mail rant, as well as published the group’s phone number and e-mail. That’s not quite doxxing, as the group’s press releases publish the same information, but Marquis wasn’t too coy about what she hoped the use of those would be:

She then gave the phone number and email of the group, “If you want to make your displeasure known.”

That tweet contained a screen grab of an email she sent the group, which said, “Take me off your mailing list you f—— ghouls.”

But hey, there’s no such thing as media bias, right?

The tweets and the voicemails prompted the GLGR to go public with the voicemail as well, and ask whether the New York Times would take action against Marquis. Late on Friday, the Times announced that it was “reviewing” Marquis’ behavior:

The New York Times said Friday that it is reviewing a top editor at the newspaper’s for tweeting scathing messages about a gun-rights group, and for allegedly leaving angry, profane voicemails for the group.

The tweets and the alleged voicemail by Erin Marquis, Wirecutter’s lead editor for computer/networking, each referenced a press release opposing gun control laws sent out by the group Great Lakes Gun Rights on the heels of a shooting at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit that killed four students.

When Barr followed up on Saturday, the paper confirmed it has “suspended” Marquis during the investigation:

Oddly, the New York Times hasn’t reported on that suspension at all yet. It also hasn’t reported on Erin Marquis’ voice mails to GLGR. Why, it’s as if the Gray Lady wanted to use a politician’s old trick of passively releasing embarrassing info on a Saturday in hopes no one would notice.

But hey, there’s no such thing as media bias, right?

At least the NYT did the right thing in taking some sort of action. How long did it take CNN to finally suspend Chris Cuomo despite a long string of ethics violations and outright corruption? Of course, the Cuomo bar is hardly a measuring stick for integrity, and it’s still left to be seen if Marquis will even miss a paycheck for her unprofessional and unhinged behavior.

She always has the Forrest Gump Defense available to her:

What this demonstrates is that there is plenty of progressive bias in today’s newsrooms. Marquis certainly didn’t feel constrained to demonstrate any journalistic objectivity or professionalism in dealing with GLGR, especially when all they did was send out a press release to their reporter e-mail list. Anyone who works in media — myself included — gets these on a routine basis from groups across the spectrum. You can usually unsubscribe from those you’d rather not receive, or if that doesn’t work, set up a filter to trash them on receipt. Marquis instead seemed very comfortable in using her New York Times position to harass her political bete noire, and the NYT itself didn’t appear too concerned about it until it started to get noticed.

I’d bet that the NYT buys the Forrest Gump Defense if Marquis chooses to use it. She’s among ideological friends, and she knows it.

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David Strom 5:00 PM | May 23, 2024