Notorious doxxer and Washington Post “internet culture” columnist Taylor Lorenz was called out for reporting falsehoods Friday by two YouTube influencers who Lorenz mentioned in a hit piece about them. Lorenz claimed she reached out to the pair for comment—which according to them is simply not true.
Lorenz was reporting “that content creators” were the winners in the explosive Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial that ended this week in what most people consider a huge win for Depp. Lorenz claimed that by following the trial on their viral YouTube channels, influencers “LegalBytes” host Alyte Mazeika and an anonymous user called ThatUmbrellaGuy made tens of thousands of dollars. Then Lorenz made what seemed like an innocuous claim: “Mazeika and ThatUmbrellaGuy did not respond to requests for comment.”
Unfortunately, the influencers quickly pointed out that she had not, in fact, made any requests for comment. That means Lorenz’s statement is completely at odds with reality, or she’s a fabulist who imagines events that did not occur. ThatUmbrellaGuy minced no words, though, flat out claiming that she lied:
The Washington Post LIED and DID NOT contact me before including me in their story on Johnny Depp, despite reporting they did so.
I noted this on Twitter today at 8:31p.
At 9:44p they decided to contact me, AFTER I noted this publicly. ( pic.twitter.com/gkGt0WuMKZ
— ThatUmbrellaGuy (@ThatUmbrella) June 3, 2022
Mazeika had a similar story:
Um. This says I didn’t respond to requests to comment? I know I’ve gotten a lot of emails over the past two months, but I’ve just double checked for your name, @TaylorLorenz, and I see no email from you. Also, I didn’t suddenly pivot. I started covering this before trial began.
The Post secretly scrubbed the fibs after Lorenz was exposed. When asked by Fox News whether Lorenz herself or an editor made the stealth edit, a spokesperson for the Post replied, “That’s not something we’d discuss on the record.”
Nice. Democracy dies in darkness or something like that, right? The Post did later in the day issue a printed correction—but only after Fox News called them on it.
Lorenz also implied there was something sinister about the YouTubing pair, writing: ” As more people turn to online creators for information, misinformation flourishes and the trial could provide a playbook for anyone looking to leverage the creator economy for their own gain.”
“Misinformation flourishes.” Let that sink in.
But wait, it gets worse. Later in the day, the Post had to issue another correction, this time to clean up the first and because Lorenz inaccurately attributed a quote to a lawyer for Johnny Depp:
The first published version of this story stated incorrectly that Internet influencers Alyte Mazeika and ThatUmbrellaGuy had been contacted for comment before publication. In fact, only Mazeika was asked, via Instagram. After the story was published, The Post continued to seek comment from Mazeika via social media and queried ThatUmbrellaGuy for the first time. During that process, The Post removed the incorrect statement from the story but did not note its removal, a violation of our corrections policy. The story has been updated to note that Mazeika declined to comment for this story and ThatUmbrellaGuy could not be reached for comment.
A previous version of this story also inaccurately attributed a quote to Adam Waldman, a lawyer for Johnny Depp. The quote described how he contacted some Internet influencers and has been removed.
A correction correcting the correction. This is an absolute embarrassment.
Does it even matter that she got something wrong? Yes. Most reporters would be looking for a new job if they simply conjured up facts and made things up. Just ask Brian Williams, Jayson Blair, or Dan Rather.
Also, this isn’t a one-off. Lorenz is a truly awful person who has stretched the bounds of decency and honesty on many occasions. Where do we start? For one, she had an “obsession” with Kellyanne Conway’s then 15-year-old daughter and direct messaged her without first contacting her parents. She also cried about Tucker Carlson criticizing her, going so far as to say she now has severe PTSD from the harassment she receives for doing her job. Only weeks later, she herself doxxed the creator of the hilarious Libs of TikTok Twitter account, which resulted in the harassment of not only the creator and her family members, but other people with the same name. Of course, she then lied about it. Lorenz’s hypocrisy knows no bounds.
There are plenty of other examples of her reprehensible behavior, but that gives you some idea. Now that she’s caught with at least two outright falsehoods in one story, do you think she’ll show some humility? Not a chance. It’s the fault of conservatives, obviously. “I’m sure the right wing media and cable news world is spinning something up,” she tweeted Friday in response to the controversy.
Yes, Taylor, the right wing made you fib.
The Washington Post is a dumpster fire. Once one of the great papers in the land, it’s now stooped to employing a dishonest, vicious journalist who repeatedly violates basic standards of a) decency and b) journalism. Reporters from respected outlets used to face consequences for printing false information.
Not in today’s world. Lorenz keeps skating through her ethical lapses, and my guess is that sadly the Post will just continue to cover for her.