Nikole Hannah-Jones fact-checked for claiming viral Chick-fil-A story from inside NYT ‘never happened’

Nikole Hannah-Jones, who famously “re-imagined” American history for the race-baiting 1619 Project, has spicy chicken on her face after falsely claiming that a former New York Times editor’s story about Chick-fil-A “never happened.”

As BizPac Review reported, former New York Times opinion editor Adam Rubenstein shared in a lengthy piece for The Atlantic a story about his fellow NYT staffers’ reactions to his spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A.

Rubenstein wrote:

On one of my first days at The New York Times, I went to an orientation with more than a dozen other new hires. We had to do an icebreaker: Pick a Starburst out of a jar and then answer a question. My Starburst was pink, I believe, and so I had to answer the pink prompt, which had me respond with my favorite sandwich. Russ & Daughters’ Super Heebster came to mind, but I figured mentioning a $19 sandwich wasn’t a great way to win new friends. So I blurted out, “The spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A,” and considered the ice broken.

The HR representative leading the orientation chided me: “We don’t do that here. They hate gay people.” People started snapping their fingers in acclamation. I hadn’t been thinking about the fact that Chick-fil-A was transgressive in liberal circles for its chairman’s opposition to gay marriage. “Not the politics, the chicken,” I quickly said, but it was too late. I sat down, ashamed.

“Never happened,” Hannah-Jones stated on X.

Asked how she would know it never happened, Hannah-Jones replied, “I’ve worked at the NYT for nearly a decade. That’s how I know,” according to Fox News Digital.

The confident response must have been deleted, because we were unable to find it.

But we did find the one in which Hannah-Jones claimed that no one familiar with The Times, as she is, “believes this story.”

“I have eaten Chik-fil-A at the NYT,” the activist wrote. “No one who has ever interacted with NYT HR believes this story. Nor do new hires snap in spontaneous harmony. What.”

“Also, here’s the thing about NYT orientations. They aren’t just for newsroom folks,” she continued. “You can be working for any part of the org and be in the orientation. This idea that people in every department of the NYT from facilities to security are finger-snapping liberals is silly.”

And Hannah-Jones wasn’t alone in calling Rubenstein a liar.

“Is anyone going to contact the Atlantic to ask them about the process behind publishing this egregiously fake anecdote,” asked journalist Michael Hobbes.

And New York Magazine’s Sarah Jones invoked The Simpsons to make her snarky point.

“Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet making babies and I saw one of the babies and the baby looked at me,” she wrote.

Except, Rubenstein was telling the truth.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, an Atlantic spokesperson confirmed the story.

“The entire piece was fact-checked, as is our standard policy,” the spokesperson said. “In reference to the opening paragraphs, the details were confirmed by New York Times employees who had contemporaneous knowledge of the incident in question.”

“For the Hannah-Jones, Hobbes et al theory to be true, it would need to be the case that Rubenstein not only lied about this nonexistent event at the time, but somehow convinced other NYT employees that it happened, or to lie for him,” said journalist Jesse Singal. “Quite a conspiracy.”

Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle did her own digging and is convinced that Rubenstein recalled the incident accurately.

“I just had a belated conversation with a third person who had deeper firsthand knowledge of L’Affaire Chik-Fil-A than simply ‘Adam told them after it happened,'” McArdle wrote. “I now consider the veracity of the incident to be settled beyond reasonable dispute. He is owed an apology.”

“The conversation was on background,” she explained, “and I am not going to share more details that could be identifying.”

“What I will say is that I am satisfied that The Atlantic did its due diligence,” she stated, “and that Adam is owed an apology.”

“Of course the story is true,” Rubenstein stated on X.

“It was confirmed,” one user on X told Hannah-Jones.

But Hannah-Jones is, at last, keeping quiet.

“Hannah-Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment when reached by Fox News Digital,” the outlet reports.

“Just show the fact-check document,” she demanded Tuesday on X, according to Fox.

“It’s unclear,” the outlet reports, “if she was specifically referring to the Chick-fil-A story.”

Melissa Fine


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