Guild rep’s controversial Israel post sparks staff battle between New York Times, Reuters and news union

A controversial post about Israeli “Zionist butchers” by a New York Times union organizer has set off a firestorm in the newsroom.

New York Times and Reuters union members are calling out NewsGuild of New York after organizer Nastaran Mohit declared that Zionists are  “depraved monsters” in a since-deleted social media post.

“All these Zionist butchers know how to kill. Children. Families. The next generation. Depraved monsters who will meet their fate one day,” she reportedly wrote, according to the New York Post which noted Mohit even called The Times a “decrepit institution.”

She found it “utterly reprehensible” that the newspaper would be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the war in Gaza and she reportedly posted a video of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying, “Hamas cares nothing about the civilians.” Mohit captioned that post: “An objective lie, you bloodthirsty savage of a human being … rot in hell.”

A Times employee told the Post that it was a “dumpster fire” inside the newsroom following the controversial posts.

Reuters NewsGuild unit Chair Tim McLaughlin previously wrote to Reuters union members in a message that he shared with Semafor.

“The fiscally irresponsible and political activist arm of our union is now firmly in control of how our dues are spent,” McLaughlin said, adding that the Guild’s leaders “have forgotten that we are a union for journalists, not activists.”

Journalists in the Guild have “effectively lost our voice, or any power, in our own union, the NewsGuild of New York,” he contended.

New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters addressed Mohit’s remarks, warning, “When we pay dues, they go toward salaries of Guild organizers. They represent you. This is one of them.”

The NewsGuild of New York disagreed.

“Their social media accounts are personal ones that reflect their own views and not those of the NewsGuild of New York. Our staff is made up of people who come from different cultural, racial, religious, and economic backgrounds with opinions that may conflict with some of our members but we take our jobs serving our members seriously and work hard to do so,” a spokesperson for its New York chapter told Semafor.

NewsGuild of New York Treasurer Anthony Napoli stated, “Our Guild’s administrative committee is going to schedule a meeting in the near future to address concerns our members have on this issue.”

According to the New York Post, a spokesperson for the Times said, “We don’t plan to comment on internal union matters.”

“It’s clear that some of the people we pay to represent us hate us because … they not only attack the New York Times but journalism itself,” one Times staffer told the Post. “Why does the union keep antagonizing the members of its largest dues-paying group?”

 

Frieda Powers

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