It’s a perfect mess befitting our imperfect age. The New York Times announced it was hiring Sarah Jeong to join its editorial board. A respected reporter on technology and the Internet, Jeong is Asian American.

Nanoseconds later, a number of her objectively racist tweets emerged. “Oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men,” reads one. “Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins,” she mused in another.

Jeong issued a statement explaining that she was satirically “counter-trolling” at racists who attacked her. She says her comments were not intended for a “general audience.” As someone who’s been subjected to vicious anti-Semitism from trolls, I’m inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Meanwhile, the New York Times issued its own statement saying it would stand by its decision to hire her, but that this “type of rhetoric was not acceptable” at the Times.