The New York Times is facing backlash after publishing an article with identifying information about the whistleblower who revealed President Donald Trump sought reelection help from a foreign government–information that ultimately led to the opening of an impeachment inquiry on Trump.
The article claimed that three people who are “familiar with” the whistleblower have insider information, including the government agencies the person worked for and their expertise.
The information was published, despite warnings from the whistleblower’s counsel against doing so.
“Any decision to report any perceived identifying information of the whistle-blower is deeply concerning and reckless, as it can place the individual in harm’s way,” Andrew Bakaj, the whistleblower’s lead counsel, told the Times. “The whistle-blower has a right to anonymity.”
Instead, the Times decided to double down on its decision by claiming it “was right to publish information about the whistle-blower.”
“The role of the whistle-blower, including his credibility and his place in the government, is essential to understanding one of the most important issues facing the country — whether the president of the United States abused power and whether the White House covered it up,” Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the Times, argued.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 26, 2019
People criticized the newspaper’s choice on social media and threatened to cancel their subscription, using the hashtag #CancelNYT–yet again.
“This is the second time in as many weeks in which the NYT has exposed identifying details about either a U.S. spy fleeing from Moscow or, today, the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower,” writer Bob Cesca tweeted. “I’m still unclear as to why any of this is in the public interest and therefore newsworthy. Anyone?”
This is the second time in as many weeks in which the NYT has exposed identifying details about either a U.S. spy fleeing from Moscow or, today, the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower. I'm still unclear as to why any of this is in the public interest and therefore newsworthy. Anyone?
— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) September 26, 2019
I almost feel bad for the NYT. They clearly have one mission right now — don’t be the resistance — and it’s causing them to really fuck up a lot of important journalism. But fucking up the really big stories is kinda their thing.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) September 26, 2019
As a result, one Twitter user claimed the Times’ cancelation wait time was about 130 minutes, and another said that canceling via the website had been disabled.
I am told the NYT cancellation wait time on the phone is up to 130 minutes.
— MikeFarb (@mikefarb1) September 26, 2019
“No online chat available for cancellation. You have to call. I’ve been on hold for about 10 minutes waiting to cancel my subscription,” Twitter user @jayjay827 wrote.
No online chat available for cancellation. You have to call.
I've been on hold for about 10 minutes waiting to cancel my subscription.
— JayJay (@jayjay827) September 26, 2019
The Daily Dot called the Times’ subscription line and was put on hold, with 13 other callers ahead. The wait time was not announced.