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Ousted NYT reporter calls journalists 'jackals' who can 'bite your arm off'

"I'm publishing my thoughts here on Medium because I know journalists," said McNeil, who described journalists as "jackals."

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New York Times papers in 2008
New York Times papers in 2008
(Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Updated: March 1, 2021 - 11:35pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Former New York Times reporter Donald McNeil Jr., who was ousted from the iconic outlet for using the "n-word" during a New York Times-sponsored trip in 2019, has published several posts on Medium, an online publishing platform.

McNeil announced his resignation from the Times in February after the Daily Beast reported that he had been reprimanded in connection with complaints that the Times got from students on the trip, according to Fox News. His departure marks the end of his decades-long tenure at the Times that McNeil said began back in 1976 when he was a "copy boy." 

"Since the Daily Beast wrote to the Times on Jan. 28 saying it intended to publish a story, I have not spoken in detail to any reporter. On the advice of my lawyer, I waited until my departure date, March 1, 2021," McNeil wrote. "I'm publishing my thoughts here on Medium because I know journalists," said McNeil, who described journalists as "jackals."

"We make America what it is — without a free press, democracy dies. But we're still jackals. We can befriend you for years, and then bite off your arm just as you're offering us a treat. We can't help it. It's the nature of the job," he wrote.

According to McNeil he spoke the "n-word" in the context of a conversation in which a student asked if he believed a high school administration was correct to suspend a classmate for using the term in a video that she made in the eighth grade.

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