Twitter warfare has its consequences: The New York Times Magazine's "Talk" columnist Andrew Goldman has been suspended for a month, The New York Observer's Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke reports. The magazine's editor said through a spokesman that "in light of his recent comments on Twitter, Andrew will not be contributing the Talk column to the Magazine for four weeks, beginning Oct. 28. He’ll be back with the column after that." Goldman is a freelancer.
Goldman ignited a social media fury when he responded to a tweet from author Jennifer Weiner. As our Jen Doll explained last week, Weiner tweeted "Saturday am. Iced coffee. NYT mag. See which actress Andrew Goldman has accused of sleeping her way to the top.
#traditionsicoulddowithout," to which Goldman responded, on an account that has since been deactivated, "@jenniferweiner sensing pattern. Little Freud in me thinks you would have liked at least to have had opportunity to sleep way to top
." As usually happens with public Twitter spats, other media people soon got involved, culminating with the Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan weighing in, writing that "Given his misbehavior on Twitter and his status as a highly replaceable freelancer, I think his editors are extraordinarily generous" to give him the chance to "do his job better," as Weiner suggested to her.
As Bloomgarden-Smoke points points out in another piece, the Times' associate managing editor for standards Philip B. Corbett outlined the paper's policy on conduct in the social media realm today, explaining, "When in doubt, ask yourself if a given action might damage The Times’s reputation. If so, it’s probably a bad idea."
When Sullivan asked if the memo was directly related to Goldman he said, "It seemed like a good time for a reminder."