Having delved a little deeper into the controversial tweets of recent New York Times hire Sarah Jeong, I no longer entirely buy the rationale that Jeong provided to The Times: that she was merely “imitating” the rhetoric of people harassing her. If she was trolling her harassers, I would have expected her to quote-tweet or reply to them, but many of the tweets seem to be generated by nothing other than Jeong’s own thoughts, or by items in the news.
I understand that she was experiencing a deluge of harassment at the time. That’s the internet: an ugly place for everybody, but especially for women of color (Jeong was born in South Korea). It’s awful, and people ought to think long and hard about how they might have handled such a situation. Have you ever lashed out in anger after someone was being mean to you? Do you think this should make you unemployable?
I still don’t think she should be fired, and further efforts to mine her old tweets for content that runs afoul of right-wing political correctness—oh no, she said bad things about the police, how dare she—play directly into the hands of a bad-faith smear campaign.