Taylor Lorenz, The Washington Post’s internet reporter and an object lesson in why journalists should avoid becoming the news, had some harsh words for MSNBC on Sunday.
“If your segment or story on ‘online harassment’ leads to even worse online harassment for your subjects, you f–ked up royally and should learn how to cover these things properly before ever talking about them again,” Lorenz wrote in a tweet.
“I could teach an entire class on this stuff, but the simple fact is that very few people in power in newsrooms actually understand how the modern internet and online landscape works, and so they continually give ammo to bad actors,” she added.
Lorenz is referring to an MSNBC segment in which she appeared that aired on Friday. The “Meet the Press” segment addressed the issue of the online harassment of women, and Lorenz spoke at length about the abuse and threats she has received online.
“They’ll threaten children, they’ll threaten my parents,” Lorenz explained in the segment. “I’ve had to remove every single social tie. I have severe PTSD from this. I contemplated suicide. It got really bad. You feel like any little piece of information that gets out on you will be used by the worst people on the internet to destroy your life and it’s so isolating. It’s horrifying.”
She then appeared to have something of an emotional meltdown.
The problem, however, is that Lorenz is far from the innocent, retiring flower she portrays herself to be. While at The New York Times, most of her “journalistic” endeavors were devoted to the pressing need to doxx high school students, innocuous YouTube and other internet personalities over youthful indiscretions and social media missteps.
And it was for this reason that some people, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson and independent journalist Glenn Greenwald, were less than impressed by Lorenz’s complaints on the MSNBC segment.
“Go look up what she’s done to a whole bunch of different people, including really young people in the New York Times and the Washington Post,” Carlson said on his show last week, “and ask yourself if it’s fair because she identifies as a woman for her to claim victim status.”
He added: “Taylor Lorenz has spent the last several years at the New York Times and now the Washington Post harassing people with the wrong political views online, including children. So of course, passive aggression being the main mode that our ruling class operates in, she has decided she’s the victim and the people who complain about what she does to them are actually the perpetrators.”
Greenwald was also less than sympathetic, marveling at Lorenz’s invincible hypocrisy in the face of what she herself has done to others, including the most egregious and unnecessary online harassment.
Liberal journalists think it's a joke when *powerless people* are attacked for their views: workers fired for an OK sign or an ill-advised tweet, students saying their speech is chilled.
They only have empathy for the power and influential: Taylor Lorenz. She must be shielded.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 1, 2022
In 2020, while at The New York Times, Lorenz was the co-author of an article about high school tattletales snitching on their fellow students to “expose racism” and even “cultural appropriation.” So she is, to say the least, no stranger to dishing out the kind of abuse that she apparently can’t take when directed at her.
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