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Two New York Times Journalists Resign

McNeil’s departure comes after allegations of inappropriate comments, including a racial slur during a guide on a Times-sponsored student trip to Peru in 2019.

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The New York Times will see two journalists depart the newspaper amid controversy due to their past behavior. Donald McNeil, a science reporter, and Andy Mills, an audio journalist, handed in their resignations.

McNeil’s departure comes after allegations of inappropriate comments, including a racial slur during a guide on a Times-sponsored student trip to Peru in 2019.

Dean Baquet, the Times’s executive editor, and Joe Kahn, the managing editor, wrote a statement concerning McNeil’s resignation.

“We do not tolerate racist language regardless of intent,” they wrote. “We are committed to building a news report and company that reflect our core values of integrity and respect, and will work with urgency to create clearer guidelines and enforcement about conduct in the workplace, including red-line issues on racist language.”

Afterward, McNeil offered his statement concerning his departure from the Times.

“I should not have done that,” McNeil wrote. “Originally, I thought the context in which I used this ugly word could be defended. I now realize that it cannot. It is deeply offensive and hurtful.”

“For offending my colleagues — and for anything I’ve done to hurt The Times, which is an institution I love and whose mission I believe in and try to serve — I am sorry. I let you all down,”

Meanwhile, Mills leaves due to the newspaper adding an editor’s note for a podcast on ISIS, stating that the project depended heavily on a source whose information ended up being false or exaggerated. Furthermore, Mills had accusations of sexual harassment in 2018, including unwanted touching.

The former Times audio journalist offered his statement over his resignation too.

“Today, I’m resigning from The New York Times. Those are not words I ever wanted to write,” Mills said on his website. “While I remain proud of our team and what we were able to accomplish with Caliphate, getting any aspect of any story wrong, by any degree, is a journalist’s worst nightmare.”

“Like all human beings, I have made mistakes that I wish I could take back. Nine years ago, when I first moved to New York City, I regularly attended monthly public radio meet up parties where I looked for love and eventually earned a reputation as a flirt,” Mills added. “Eight years ago, during a team meeting, I gave a colleague a back rub. Seven years ago, I poured a drink on a coworker’s head at a drunken bar party. I look back at those actions with extraordinary regret and embarrassment. I feel it is in the best interest of both myself and my team that I leave the company at this time.”

News Print & Digital

Cenk Uygur: No Legislative Action Will Follow After Uvalde Shooting

“Democrats are not holding vote on gun control because they want to use the sympathy for the dead kids in Texas to get votes,” Uygur tweeted.

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Details regarding the mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas that left 19 children and two adults dead continue to trickle out. 

Although the information is graphic and has left the country reflecting, Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur doesn’t believe any legislative action will follow. 

“Democrats are not holding vote on gun control because they want to use the sympathy for the dead kids in Texas to get votes,” Uygur tweeted. “They’re worried that if they hold vote on gun control, Republicans will use that against their beloved moderate Democrats. Who can stomach these cowards?”

Uygur even lashed out at the “mainstream media,” foreshadowing outlets and commentators would explain the “strategy” of non-action in the wake of the shooting.

“This is when mainstream media will administer a heavy dose of tranquilizing drug of gradualism,” Uygur added on Twitter. “They’ll write articles about how strategic it is for Democrats to do nothing and Republicans to resist them. They’ll tell you why it’s so smart to do nothing until you’re back asleep.”

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Spotify to Allow Political Ads After Two-Year Hiatus

The streaming giant initially paused political ads in 2020, and the decision only impacted the United States, the only country Spotify sold the ads. 

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Following a two-year break, Spotify is relaunching political ads on its platform. The streaming giant initially paused political ads in 2020, and the decision only impacted the United States, the only country Spotify sold the ads. 

When Spotify mentioned a lack of resources needed to confirm and examine the ads, the company ceased advertising. However, two years later, as the midterm elections ramp up, the platform has done a 180.

“Following our pause of political ads in early 2020, we have spent the past two years strengthening and enhancing our processes, systems, and tools to responsibly validate and review this content,” a Spotify spokesperson said to Protocol

The report adds that the political ads will only be featured in podcasts and won’t yet be added to the ad-streaming music feature. Spotify promises political advertisers the capability to target niche audiences and tap into AI-driven “contextual targeting,” allowing advertisers to place ads in podcasts when debating issues appropriate to their target audiences.

Furthermore, the story didn’t include information regarding how podcast hosts will feel having political ads play during their program. 

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Report: Layoffs of CNN+ Staffers Has Begun

Approximately 23 staffers in CNN’s Hudson Yards offices were notified that their positions were being eliminated.

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It’s been nearly a month since CNN decided to pull the plug on its streaming service CNN+ and while many were hired to help with the production of the various shows, now they’re being laid off.

TV Newser reports that the cable news channel began laying off affected staffers on Tuesday. The outlet adds that there’s no concrete number of people who won’t be working at CNN.

However, approximately 23 staffers in CNN’s Hudson Yards offices were notified that their positions were being eliminated. Furthermore, another source confirmed to the outlet that layoffs had occurred. 

Despite laying off some staffers, the company is still trying to place those impacted CNN+ employees in other positions around CNN and Warner Bros. Discovery.

When the network announced it was pulling the plug, CNN Worldwide chairman and CEO Chris Licht said in an internal memo that they would continue to receive pay for 90 days and benefits along with helping them find opportunities within the company. 

“All CNN+ employees will continue to be paid and receive benefits for the next 90 days to explore opportunities at CNN, CNN Digital, and elsewhere in the Warner Bros. Discovery family,” Licht said. 

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