Taylor Lorenz, an internet culture reporter for The New York Times, is under fire for sharing a politically charged and factually inaccurate social media posts about the pro-life movement.
Here are just a few of several absolute lies about the pro-life movement that @nytimes reporter @TaylorLorenz is circulating on her Instagram account. Don’t tell me that mainstream outlets aren’t full of “reporters” who believe and peddle nonsense like this: pic.twitter.com/vx8z3XtdQN
— Alexandra DeSanctis (@xan_desanctis) July 6, 2020
The post, which was reshared from Vox’s senior video correspondent Liz Plank on Instagram, claims the pro-life movement was started by “racist evangelicals who needed an issue to latch onto as school segregation began losing in the court of public opinion.”
Riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, the post goes on to claim that “being denied an abortion makes you 4 times more likely to live below the poverty line” as well as be evicted and file for bankruptcy. The post also claims that $40.5 million taxpayer dollars went to “pro-life centers posing as clinics” and that abortion bans cost Texas taxpayers alone more than $6 million.
According to The New York Times’ social media policy for staff, “journalists must not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments or do anything else that undercuts The Times’s journalistic reputation.”
“If our journalists are perceived as biased or if they engage in editorializing on social media, that can undercut the credibility of the entire newsroom,” read the 2017 article on the policy. “We’ve always made clear that newsroom employees should avoid posting anything on social media that damages our reputation for neutrality and fairness.”
Other notable parts of The Times social media policy include:
- “Our journalists should be especially mindful of appearing to take sides on issues that The Times is seeking to cover objectively.”
- “These guidelines apply to everyone in every department of the newsroom, including those not involved in coverage of government and politics.”
- “If you are linking to other sources, aim to reflect a diverse collection of viewpoints. Sharing a range of news, opinions or satire from others is usually appropriate. But consistently linking to only one side of a debate can leave the impression that you, too, are taking sides.”
According to The Daily Beast, an email sent in 2019 to The New York Times staff urged them to exercise even more scrutiny when posting on social media.
“If anyone—even those acting in bad faith—brings legitimate problems to our attention, we’ll look into them and respond appropriately,” Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger said. “It is imperative that all of us remain thoughtful about how our words and actions reflect on the Times, particularly during this period of sustained pressure and scrutiny. We all play a part in upholding our commitment to give the news impartially without fear or favor.”
Asked by The Federalist whether Lorenz’s posts violated their social media policy, the Times did not respond. The Times similarly did not respond to The Federalist’s comment request in March when Lorenz tweeted positively about a TikTok video of a teenage girl getting an abortion.