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'New York Times' Responds to Backlash Over White Nationalist Profile

'New York Times' Responds to Backlash Over White Nationalist Profile

Over the weekend, the New York Times published a profile of a white nationalist. Soon after, the publication was being called out for attempting to normalize a Nazi sympathizer.

Now, the magazine has published a response to the piece after it went viral.

“The genesis of the story was the aftermath of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August, the terrifying Ku Klux Klan-like images of young white men carrying tiki torches and shouting ‘Jews will not replace us,’ and the subsequent violence that included the killing of a woman, Heather D. Heyer,” New York Times editor Marc Lacey wrote. “Whatever our goal, a lot of readers found the story offensive, with many seizing on the idea we were normalizing neo-Nazi views and behavior. ‘How to normalize Nazis 101!’ one reader wrote on Twitter. ‘I’m both shocked and disgusted by this article,’ wrote another. ‘Attempting to ‘normalize’ white supremacist groups – should Never have been printed! Our reporter and his editors agonized over the tone and content of the article. The point of the story was not to normalize anything but to describe the degree to which hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think.”

“We described Mr. Hovater as a bigot, a Nazi sympathizer who posted images on Facebook of a Nazi-like America full of happy white people and swastikas everywhere,” the piece continued. “We understand that some readers wanted more pushback, and we hear that loud and clear.”

“We regret the degree to which the piece offended so many readers. We recognize that people can disagree on how best to tell a disagreeable story. What we think is indisputable, though, is the need to shed more light, not less, on the most extreme corners of American life and the people who inhabit them. That’s what the story, however imperfectly, tried to do,” Marc added.

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