She’s just chillin’ out.
The New York Times freelance editor who was ousted after tweeting that watching Joe Biden’s plane land the day before his inauguration gave her “chills” appears to be cashing in on her newfound notoriety with a newsletter also dubbed “Chills.”
Lauren Wolfe tweeted news of her new venture on Wednesday.
The newsletter, via subscription platform Substack, will charge $65 a year or $6 a month, according to the order form. Substack is a small but growing platform for writers to monetize their words. It claims to have attracted over 250,000 paying consumers drawn to the musings of writers like conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan and The Intercept co-founder Glen Greenwald.
“Writing that lets you feel things,” is the opening headline on Wolfe’s newsletter, unveiled earlier this week. “Welcome to chills by me Lauren Wolfe. Sign up now so you don’t miss the first issue. And tell your friends.”
Wolfe got into hot water — and became an overnight media sensation — when she made her pro-Biden tweet on Jan. 19. “Biden’s plane landing at Joint Field Andrews. I have chills.”
In a since-deleted tweet, she also posted, “The pettiness of the Trump admin for not sending a military plane to bring him to DC as is tradition is mortifying. Childish.”
That didn’t sit right with some who noted an earlier tweet by Cliff Levy, an associate managing editor at the Times, promising to “scrutinize the incoming administration just as thoroughly as we did the outgoing one.”
Yashir Ali, the journalist who first broke the news of Wolfe’s oustser, reported that she deleted the later tweet after it turned out Biden himself had opted to fly private.
Wolfe didn’t return a request for comment, including in the comments section on her Substack newsletter.
Meanwhile, The New York Times has drawn fire for its comment on Wolfe’s dismissal, which she blasted as a “shot” to her reputation.
“For privacy reasons we don’t go into the details of personnel matters, but we can say that we didn’t end someone’s employment over a single tweet,” a Times spokeswoman said. “Out of respect for the individuals involved, we don’t plan to comment further.”
“Whatever they’re implying, it’s a shot to my reputation, which I worked very hard to build,” Wolfe told The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, who argued that The Time’s policy requiring reports to restrain from editorializing on social media has been and will continue to be a “Sisyphean struggle.”
Jonathan Sack, an employment lawyer, who has tangled with The New York Times in the past, thinks Wolfe has a legitimate reason to be upset with the paper’s comment on her departure, and its uneven enforcement of perceived bases.
“I think what the Times said is terrible,” said Sack. “They are using her as a scapegoat to assert that they don’t tolerate bias in their ranks–even though the last 5 years, the entire paper was an opinion piece about how awful the Trump administration was,” he said.
The comments received could put Wolfe in the position of having to “self impugn herself” to a future potential employer by way of explaining what happened, he said.
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