Earlier this month former editor Sandra Guzman sued the New York Post for being an alleged hellhole of racism and sexism. Today, a recently fired reporter filed a lawsuit claiming he was "banned" from the newsroom for being black.
Austin Fenner, a 20-year veteran reporter, was fired on November 9th, the same day as Guzman. And—if Fenner's claims are true—for the same reason: complaining about the Post publishing that infamous cartoon depicting officers shooting a chimpanzee meant to be Barack Obama. (Was it worth it, New York Post?)
The Huffington Post reports Fenner filed a 27-page complaint in court today which specifically signals out metropolitan editor Michelle Gotthelf and assignment editor Daniel Greenfield as the racists-in-chief. The lawsuit outlines a number of claims that fall just short of the sheer crazy-terribleness of Guzman's, but it's still a model example of (alleged!) racism.
Here are the worst/best parts:
The main thrust of the complaint is that minority Post staffers are subjected to "pervasive discrimination and harassment... based on their race and/or color" at the hands of their nearly all-white colleagues.
This discrimination manifested itself most blatantly in Fenner's claim that, after he criticized the chimpanzee cartoon in the blog Journal-ism, Greenfield and Gotthelf told him he couldn't enter the "Whites Only" newsroom without their permission for the five months before he was ultimately fired:
During the cartoon row, Fenner claims he also witnessed racism directed at New York Governor David Patterson, when editors refused to interview him about the cartoon:
And after Fenner publicly complained about the chimpanzee cartoon he said editors started to get sweary—and not even in a creative, hard-boiled-newspaper-editor-type way:
All this led to that fateful Nov. 9 day, when Fenner was called from an assignment in Brooklyn, ordered to give his notes to a white reporter, and fired.
The Post told the Huffington Post that Fenner's claims were "totally false and the claims of discrimination completely baseless." OK, you convinced us! Forget paywalls: The Post should charging for seminars on how to deny accusations that your organization is a seething pit of racism.