Taylor Lorenz Is Not the Only Problem - Washington Post Cannot Keep Its Own Story Straight

Taylor Lorenz claims to have severe PTSD from being a journalist. (Credit: MSNBC)

When it was announced a few months back that the New York Times digital reporter Taylor Lorenz was leaving in order to set up shop with the Washington Post, it had all the feel of a sports franchise that managed to unload a problematic player with a bad contract onto another team. For its part, there were plenty of questions about what the appeal was for The Post, as Lorenz has a history of a deeply sociopathic career. (Jim Thompson detailed just a few of her disturbing examples. )


As it is turning out, the paper and the reporter are a keen match. Since her report Tuesday outing the person behind the Libs of Tik Tok account, WaPo has been vacillating on its position backing Lorenz and her article. Not to say the paper is not behind her work – it most certainly supports her doxxing a person making the leftists and media look ridiculous – but it has shifted its approach numerous times in order to maintain the appearance of journalistic propriety.

To see just how unmoored the paper is on this, I need to lay out the sequence of dispatches from The Post. Not because this is a difficult-to-follow plot, but it will underscore just how blatant the dysfunction is in this entire report. 

First, the original article posted early Tuesday morning had this segment, that linked to the professional and personal contact details of the woman running LOTT.

Then, at some point in the day, WaPo elected to then remove the hyperlink to the personal information it had provided.


Next came the official statement issued by the management, standing behind Taylor Lorenz and her work. The very fact they felt the need to issue a comment should have raised a number of warning signs. What was delivered was a laughable dose of boilerplate support touting Taylor’s reporting as sound and her skills as a reporter as exemplary. It also claims that they had never linked to the personal information of the account holder.

But then Joseph Wulsohn from Fox News contacted a spokesperson at the paper, and now their story is that while, yes, they had posted the information in a link, it had then been removed as the details contained therein were irrelevant to the article.

This is a remarkably bad timeline for any news outlet, let alone an allegedly upper-tier journalism source like WaPo. Here is what has played out:

  • It doxxed a woman 
  • Removed her details 
  • Gave official word it never doxxed her
  • Confirmed it had doxxed her
  • Declared the information as public and non-essential

They have now held no less than five positions on their story, within a matter of just two days – all while insisting that their reporting is completely sound and valid.

The fact that they have now stated that the personal information they had supplied was both public knowledge and ultimately not crucial to the article completely undermines the basis of the Lorenz article. The entire purpose of this piece was to expose who was managing Libs of Tik Tok; to come out and say now that the personal details were not germane to the article requires a new question to be answered: What exactly was the purpose of this article?

There have been some journalists rising to the defense of Lorenz, such as Alex Thompson of Politico, suggesting that what she displayed was the practice of old-fashioned gritty reporting. It is utterly hilarious to attempt raising Taylor Lorenz up to the strata of Woodward and Bernstein. She was not uncovering a deep governmental conspiracy, she wanted to doxx an account of someone she disagrees with on Twitter. This was not Watergate 3.0, this was the petty work of an online troll.

Woodward and Bernstein resorted to door-knocker interrogation in order to gather pieces of a complex puzzle involving dozens of players in a scandal with numerous moving parts. People were evasive on the phone so they had to resort to impromptu face-to-face meetings in order to collect any data from witnesses they could find. Taylor Lorenz harassed the family members of someone who she feels was sending out mean tweets. 


That is the entirety of her “reporting,” and it is undermined entirely by the new measure that what was reported was merely public information. So much for good old-fashioned muckraking. Now, two days hence, the information she gathered has been reassessed by her own paper which “deemed it unnecessary.” And yet, the Washington Post still stands behind Lorenz and her article. 

By all the evidence presented here in the past couple of days, Taylor Lorenz has found the perfect home for her journalism.


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