A USA Today “race and inclusion” editor was fired this week for using her professional Twitter account to report flagrant disinformation in the wake of a mass shooting. In response, she wrote a lengthy Medium post that briefly admitted “regret” for her “careless error in judgement” but focused mostly on how the corporate press is allegedly “subservient to white authority.”
In the wake of the mass shooting in Boulder, Colo., Hemal Jhaveri exchanged tweets with Deadspin senior editor Julie DiCaro.
“Extremely tired of people’s lives depending on whether a white man with an AR-15 is having a good day or not,” DiCaro wrote. Jhaveri replied, “it’s always an angry white man. always.”
It was not, in fact, a white man. The suspected shooter is a Muslim of Middle Eastern origin, having been born in Syria. In her Medium article, Jhaveri describes her post as “a dashed off over-generalization, tweeted after pictures of the shooter being taken into custody surfaced online.”
Of course, that amounts to the “race and inclusion” editor of a major purportedly objective publication getting basic facts about race incorrect on a professional platform in the wake of a mass tragedy. She didn’t get facts about the budget wrong as a smalltime fashion blogger. She got one major fact directly related to her job wrong on a big story.
Would I have fired her? Maybe. But it hardly seems like an unreasonable decision given that her job as a journalist is to convey accurate information specifically about race. The tweet demonstrated a clear question of competence.
Jhaveri complained of a double standard, claiming on Medium, “White USA TODAY reporters have been able to minimize racialized people in print, our white Editor-In-Chief was thoughtless about black face, and a senior politics editor (also white) showed disregard for journalistic ethics by hosting a tax payer funded reception for Trump appointees. All kept their jobs.”
“Sending one wrong tweet that ended up in the hands of Sean Hannity on Fox News though, was enough for this publication to turn tail,” she added. “So many newsrooms claim to value diverse voices, yet when it comes to backing them up, or looking deeper into how white supremacy permeates their own newsrooms, they quickly retreat.”
Notice how Jhaveri minimized her error, deflecting to assert “white supremacy permeates” the USA Today newsroom like the office full of coastal liberals is Bull Connor’s campaign headquarters. This is where Jhaveri’s Medium rant becomes a useful document. Here’s how the post ends:
We’re never going to see real change in newsrooms unless editors allow for their writers, and BIPOC writers specifically, to freely critique white structural relations. The fact that many newsrooms still view that as “bias” is a saddening and dispiriting fact.
Like many places, USA TODAY values “equality and inclusion,” but only as long as it knows its rightful place, which is subservient to white authority.
Here’s the most important sentence, “The fact that many newsrooms still view that as ‘bias’ is a saddening and dispiriting fact,” with “that” referring to writers to “freely critiqu[ing]e white structural relations.”
This sentiment is representative of the cultural left’s insistence that everything outside its own radical worldview is necessarily bigoted and necessarily wrong. Thus, to Jhaveri, it isn’t bias, it’s as a clear a moral position as opposing murder. That’s also why people like Jhaveri operate on much broader definitions of bigotry and “white supremacy” than the general public. In their rigid progressive-or-bigot binary formulation, all disagreement embodies and perpetuates bigotry and must have no voice.
Fish don’t know they’re wet and media leftists don’t know they’re biased. They swim in the waters of ideological consensus to the point where they don’t realize certain aspects of their worldview represent ideological bias. Jhaveri’s contention in that Medium post is Exhibit A.
Sadly, however, by inflating these definitions beyond the point of public recognition and consensus, media leftists leave readers feeling implicated in KKK-level bigotry. That’s not only confusing, it’s wrong and enormously divisive. Jhaveri is doubling down. No doubt most of her ideological travelers with powerful media jobs will do the same.