NYT editor who made Minneapolis-Midwest jibe has been demoted

Jonathan Weisman found himself in hot water following a series of tweets.
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New York Times building

The New York Times' Deputy Washington Editor who stoked controversy by suggesting that Minneapolis should not be considered part of the Midwest has been demoted.

In a statement to CNN on Tuesday, the NYT says Jonathan Weisman met with executive editor Dean Baquet, during which he "apologized for his recent serious lapses in judgment."

"As a consequence of his actions, he has been demoted and will no longer be overseeing the team that covers Congress or be active on social media," the Times said.

"We don't typically discuss personnel matters but we're doing so in this instance with Jonathan's knowledge."

Weisman landed himself in hot water on two occasions, one of which saw him suggest that Rep. Ilhan Omar, and by extension Minneapolis, should not be considered part of the Midwest.

"Saying @RashidaTlaib (D-Detroit) and @IlhanMN (D-Minneapolis) are from the Midwest is like saying @RepLloydDoggett (D-Austin) is from Texas or @repjohnlewis (D-Atlanta) is from the Deep South. C’mon."

The implication of this is that cities like Minneapolis and Detroit shouldn't be considered part of the Midwest, with their cosmopolitan populations markedly different from the "heartland" stereotype still apparently prevalent among East Coast journalists.

There's also the troubling racial undertone that suggests the "Midwest" and "Deep South" are inherently white, albeit Weisman also include white Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas among his examples.

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Weisman later deleted the tweet and said he had made his point poorly, but followed it up with another gaffe that provoked outrage, when he tweeted that Justice Democrats were backing a candidate "seeking to unseat an African-American Democrat" in Ohio's 3rd District.

Weisman did this without realizing that the candidate backed by the Justice Democrats is also black.

In an interview with the NYT, Weisman said: "I accept Dean’s judgment. I think he’s right to do what he’s doing. I embarrassed the newspaper, and he had to act."

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