NY Times reporter accused of using 'n-word,' other racist, sexist remarks on 2019 educational trip: report

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A star reporter from The New York Times came under fire for making racist and sexist remarks on a 2019 educational trip, The Daily Beast reported Thursday. 

Donald McNeil Jr., the Times’ science and health reporter who has spent the past year covering the coronavirus outbreak for the paper, was accused of using offensive language while leading a student trip in Peru, according to the report.

The trip, which was organized by the company Putney Student Travel, is part of a program called New York Times Student Journeys, which according to the Times, “offers educational travel programs for high school and middle school students”. The paper provides a rotation of its journalists to accompany the children abroad. 

However, the Beast reports that following the 2019 trip to Peru, several participants filed complaints against McNeil, accusing the 66-year-old reporter of making “racist and sexist remarks throughout the trip including, according to two complaints, using the ‘n-word.'”

At least six complaints from either the students or their parents outlined claims of McNeil’s inflammatory rhetoric and use of the slur in addition to remarks he allegedly made about not believing in the concept of White privilege and using “stereotypes about Black teenagers.”

“I expect immediate action on the actions taken by Donald, I am deeply disappointed about the New York Times because of the comments he made during our trip,” one participant expressed in a review of the trip obtained by the Beast. “I think firing him would even be appropriate.”

“Not only did Donald say various racist comments on numerous occasions, but he was also disrespectful to many students during mealtimes and in other settings,” another review read. 

“I would change the journalist. He was a racist,” a third person wrote. “He used the ‘N’ word, said horrible things about black [sic] teenagers, and said white [sic] supremacy doesn’t exist.”

McNeil, who has been with the paper since 1976, was reportedly disciplined by the Times, according to a statement provided to the Beast. 

“In 2019, Donald McNeil, Jr. participated in a Student Journeys as an expert. We subsequently became aware of complaints by some of the students on the trip concerning certain statements Donald had made during the trip,” a Times spokesperson told the Beast. “We conducted a thorough investigation and disciplined Donald for statements and language that had been inappropriate and inconsistent with our values. We found he had used bad judgment by repeating a racist slur in the context of a conversation about racist language. In addition, we apologized to the students who had participated in the trip.”

The Times did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 


McNeil raised eyebrows last year for his political commentary during a TV appearance, where he went on a tear against several members of the White House coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence, who he suggested was a “sycophant” of President Trump. 

A Times spokesperson told Fox News at the time that McNeil’s remarks “went too far in expressing his personal views” and that his editors “have discussed the issue with him to reiterate that his job is to report the facts and not to offer his own opinions.”

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