New York Times silent after star reporter equates Trump supporters to 'enemies of the state'

Media top headlines July 28

In media news today, NBC News’ Chuck Todd dismisses the notion of liberal bias as a GOP talking point, a New York Times reporter deletes a tweet urging Trump supporters to be called ‘enemies of the state,’ and NBC’s coverage of the Tokyo Olympics continues to lose significant viewership

The New York Times has been radio silent as one of its star journalists suggested that Trump supporters should be designated as “enemies of the state” amid what she described were ongoing “national security threats.”

Times Justice Department reporter Katie Benner took to Twitter on Tuesday as the first hearing of the Democrat-led Jan. 6 select committee was underway. 

“Today’s #January6thSelectCommittee underscores the America’s current, essential natsec dilemma: Work to combat legitimate national security threats now entails calling a politician’s supporters enemies of the state,” Benner wrote. 

Benner explained, “As Americans, we believe that state power should not be used to work against a political figure or a political party. But what happens if a politician seems to threaten the state? If the politician continues to do so out of office and his entire party supports that threat?”

The Times’ DOJ reporter cast doubt that the Pelosi-appointed committee would resolve the “dilemma” since it remained “unresolved” following the Russia investigation and both impeachments of President Trump. 

“That leaves it up to voters, making even more essential free, fair access to the polls,” Benner concluded. 


Benner, who was recently hired as an MSNBC contributor, sparked backlash on social media for her tweets targeting Trump supporters.

Hours later, Benner deleted the tweets, claiming they were “unclearly worded.”

The Times has refused to respond to Fox News’ multiple requests for comment, including an inquiry over whether the paper directed Benner to take down the tweets. 

Amid the digital age, the Times established strict social media guidelines for its employees, writing in its editorial standards, “In social media posts, our journalists must not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments or do anything else that undercuts The Times’s journalistic reputation.”

“Our journalists should be especially mindful of appearing to take sides on issues that The Times is seeking to cover objectively,” the guidelines explain.  

The Times did not respond to Fox News’ inquiry as to whether or not Benner’s tweets violated the paper’s social media policy. 

However, the Times was far more vocal about the firing of Lauren Wolfe, a freelance editor who was under fire for a pro-Biden tweet she made ahead of the president’s inauguration back in January. 

A spokesperson for the Times said that Wolfe wasn’t fired over “a single tweet,” appearing to back up reporting at the time that Wolfe was previously warned by her employer about her social media activity. 

The paper’s ongoing silence towards Benner, whose tweets demonized millions of voters as “enemies of the state,” maybe skating away from the fate Wolfe faced after she simply expressed her excitement for President Biden’s inauguration. 

Benner was one of the trio of reporters who broke the story about the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into staunch Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., earlier this year. 

The Times did not respond to Fox News’ inquiry as to whether Benner’s animosity towards Trump supporters will become a conflict of interest going forward as the paper’s DOJ reporter. 

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