A new report by the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) reveals that the New Yorker newspaper and the New Republic were key players in the establishment of the #meToo movement.
The report, titled “The New Yorker and the End of the American Republic,” was released today and is available for purchase on the Center for Independent Journalism’s website.
CIR is a nonprofit organization that works to expose and advance journalism that is independent of political parties, corporate interests, or special interests.
It also works to end bias and protect the right to access information, free from commercial and political interference.
In its report, CIR describes the New Yorkers “instrumental role in legitimizing the #mytherapistory movement, which grew out of the viral video ‘Me Too,'” and “in the first instance, the publication of the first version of the ‘MeToo’ video, which was published on October 1, 2017.”
The video, in which a woman named Brianna Wu says she was sexually harassed by a video game developer named Nathan Grayson, inspired a series of online protests in which women accused game developer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
A few days later, #MeItUp was launched on social media, which spread across the world, including across the United States.
#MeThreat was a hashtag coined by the movement to show how harassment and abuse of women is endemic to games.
Cir’s report details how the New England paper’s editorial board, which published the video in which the woman was speaking, was the first to publish an article calling for the video to be removed from the internet.
The New Yorker, however, “agreed to allow the video’s copyright to lapse as a condition of its publication.”
In an interview with CIR’s senior investigative reporter, Mary Louise Kelly, Cir found that the paper’s decision was a clear example of how “the paper’s corporate owners and owners of editorships and editorial boards have long sought to shield the paper from criticism and scrutiny.”
The New York Observer was one of the few publications to take a stand against the #metoo movement and published a piece in which it called for “a broader discussion about harassment and its consequences” and argued that “there is a real opportunity to address this issue head on and make it as clear as possible that it doesn’t represent a threat to the safety of our society.”
The paper also published an op-ed titled “It’s time to stop the ‘metoo’ campaign,” in which author Amy Chozick called the campaign “the most effective and harmful form of harassment in history.”
The Times also published a “call for a discussion” from its editorial board that focused on the idea that “we must take the lead in tackling harassment and bullying.”
In response to the #Metoo movement, a number of major publications including The New Republic and the Washington Post ran editorials in response, and a petition was created on Change.org to force the New Jersey legislature to “remove all references to harassment from state law.”
But the Times continued to remain silent.
The following month, the paper published a column titled “How the New America Times’ support of the @MeToo hashtag helped it get the #media in the news.”
“I think what happened here is that the Times, with a number, a substantial number of its readership, felt it was necessary to respond,” Kelly said.
“This is not to say that all of them were wrong, but there was a very substantial number that felt that they had to take some sort of action.
And that is exactly what they did.”
“What happened here was that the NYT, with the support of a significant number of those readers, felt that it was appropriate to respond, and that it’s not appropriate for the Times to simply sit by and let the movement grow and thrive.
And I think that was their responsibility, and I think the Times was right in responding.”
CIR was able to uncover some additional details of the NYT’s role in the creation of the “MeToo” movement and its “corporate owners and editors.”
The report revealed that, during the campaign to push the #METoo movement, the NYT published a number stories about the #METO movement and discussed the importance of “publicly shaming people and the culture at large” as well as “discussing the issue of sexual misconduct and abuse in the industry.”
According to the report, the Times “repeatedly asked readers to call the New Zealand government and urge them to take action against the harassers.”
When the #GamerGate movement gained momentum, the NY Times, as well, responded by issuing an op to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the first major newspaper to publish a piece on the issue.
The NY Times also “adopted a tone and tone of outrage, and went out of its way to promote the hashtag and call out those who were spreading it.” “The NY