Updated below | In a bizarre tweet, John Schwartz, a national reporter for the New York Times decided to attack NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard for celebrating his son’s upcoming wedding.
After Sheppard had noted how he was going to be “crying more than bride’s father...but for different reasons,” an apparently bitter Schwartz shot back with an insult: “Because you’ve been renting him out to workhouses all these years and you’re sorry to be losing the income?”
What possessed Schwartz to engage in such a petty and pathetic attempt at humor is difficult to say. Below is the full context of the tweet preserved via image in case Schwartz decides to delete it:
One possible explanation is that Schwartz holds a grudge against NewsBusters for a post we ran in December of 2012 from Tim Graham which pointed out how the New York Times had used its 2012 annual list of notable books to promote its own reporters’ work.
On the list of the self-promoted books last year was a tome written by none other than John Schwartz. Although Graham did not criticize any of the Times authors’ books, the subject matter of Schwartz’s manuscript might explain why he would make such a cruel attempt at humor tonight. The book is called Oddly Normal: One Family’s Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms With His Sexuality.
This is the first and only time anyone at NB has ever mentioned Schwartz or his son. We've only mentioned Schwartz himself two other times, once for a profile he wrote of leftist activist Bill Nye and another merely in passing.
Whatever his motivations were for making it, John Schwartz’s tasteless joke is a disgrace. There’s no doubt at all that the guy is a left-wing jerk.
Update 8:03. Schwartz has replied to this post in the comments below. Here is his statement in full:
This is John -- I've deleted the tweet, which was intended as a silly joke and instead came off as insulting. It wasn't my intention, but I apologize for it; if Noel would like to send me an email, I will apologize directly to him. Meanwhile, congratulations on the wedding.
Update 12:30 from Noel: John and I have exchanged email messages. He has sincerely apologized not just by email but also on Twitter. We've moved to the let's laugh about this and be friends phase. I completely accept his apology and wish everyone else would as well.