Accuracy in Media

A New York Times reporter tweeted her thoughts about an event attendee possibly spreading the coronavirus at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, but she neglected to mention any concern for conservatives at the conference.

Elizabeth Williamson, who works as a D.C. bureau writer for the New York Times, said, “Dear people celebrating an illness on here: CPAC is held in one of the DC area’s biggest convention venues. Many people work and attend events including kids, older people, reporters, waitstaff, janitorial crew. Please don’t become what you hate.”

Her tweet condemned the behavior of several social media users who tweeted their pleasure at conservatives possibly contracting the coronavirus, but she did not mention how the conservative conference attendees were also at risk. Her tweet highlighted her concern for convention center employees, fellow reporters, and janitors and custodial crew while ignoring the conservative attendees or the conservative lawmakers attending the conference.

So far, multiple conservative lawmakers have self-quarantined after learning they made contact with an attendee who tested positive for coronavirus.

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Reps. Doug Collins (Ga.), and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) have self-quarantined after discussing it with their staff and federal health officials.

Their self-quarantines portrayed Williamson’s tweet in a negative light because she omitted her concern for conservative attendees. Her tweet called into question whether she harbors a political bias against conservatives by omitting them from her tweet.

She has not yet issued an apology or a statement to clarify her initial remarks, but she should clarify it to avoid garnering mistrust from conservatives. Her employer, the New York Times, has been accused of publishing “fake news” by President Donald Trump and other conservatives, and her tweet added more criticism that the newspaper favors liberals over conservatives.

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