The New York Times has taken the embarrassing step of providing Jodi Rudoren — the paper’s Jerusalem bureau chief — with a social media watchdog. According to the Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan, the move was necessary because Rudoren had used Twitter and Facebook to post some things that got people upset:
…During the Gaza conflict, she wrote one Facebook post in which she described Palestinians as ‘ho-hum’ about the death of loved ones, wrote of their ‘limited lives’ and, in another, said she shed her first tears in Gaza over a letter from an Israeli family. The comments came off as insensitive and the reaction was sharp, not only from media pundits, but also from dismayed readers.
Rudoren did express regret for some of the things she posted, but it’s too late. The Times has appointed an editor — Joseph Kahn — to monitor Rudoren’s social media posts. Kahn will make sure Rudoren doesn’t mess up again, like a parent watching over a child who can’t seem to do the right thing when left unattended.
Rudoren: “How about this?”
Rudoren: “Hmmm… Okay, let me retweet this then.”
Kahn: “No. Is that something a Times reporter should say? Think about it now. I’ll give you a minute.”
Rudoren: [Sends tweet] “I don’t care!”
Kahn: “Go to your room and think about what you’ve done! And don’t let me hear that television young lady!”