Washington Gadfly

NY Times Exec Wiki Page Scrubbed Of Racial Purge Allegations

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Evan Gahr Investigative Journalist
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Let’s play the “liberals don’t value diversity” version of the classic television game show “Beat the Clock.”

It took 14 days for somebody to remove from Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos’ Wikipedia a black employee’s explosive charge that he is responsible for “systemic” racism at the paper, including white managers shrieking at black subordinates with impunity.

But whoever was determined to whitewash similar charges against one of the New York Times’s top executives just easily beat the WaPo clock.

On Saturday, around 11 p.m., the Wikipedia page of New York Times chief revenue officer Meredith Levien was updated with information about embarrassing discrimination lawsuits against her and company CEO Mark Thompson.

At 2:59 a.m. Sunday the information about charges she purged older black employees and fired a woman vice-president who complained about a sexist underling, was deleted.

By somebody with a New York City IP address who claimed the additions violated the Wiki policy against “vandalism,” the insertion of false information for malicious purposes.

Turnaround time for the mystery contestant: about three hours.

Levien did not reply to an email asking if she did it.

But Times employees are known to tamper with Wiki entries.

Last December, the Wikipedia page of New York Times reporter Sarah Maslin Nir, whose much ballyhooed stories on supposedly heinous working conditions at nail salons, got a makeover.

According to New York Post gossip columnist Richard Johnson “20 anonymous edits,” some from Times IP addresses, dismissed the criticism as “minor controversies from right wing and Libertarian outlets, as well as several protests from salon owners unwilling to abide by the new laws created by the Cuomo administration in the wake of the story.”

Actually, the “right wing” publications included the left-liberal New York Review of Books and the “minor” controversy finally came to head when the paper’s own ombudsman ruled the story seriously flawed.