Part of Friday’s segment MTP DailyMSNBC’s Morgan Radford, a correspondent, blamed Tucker Carlson of Fox News and Glenn Greenwald, for the online harassment and death threats directed at female journalists. Washington Post Taylor Lorenz, tech columnist, ties such attacks to her PTSD.
Host Chuck Todd came out of commercial and set the table, “The latest government statistics show 1 in 3 women under the age of 35 have experienced a type of essentially sexual harassment online. It’s often under-reported and many times not taken seriously despite its serious risk to mental health and physical safety.”
Todd introduced Radford, who then launched into an audio segment with Lorenz. 19th’s Kate Sosin, “Journalist Taylor Lorenz is a columnist for the Washington Post and was targeted one year ago in a segment on Fox News.”
After playing a brief clip of Carlson declaring that, “She’s at the very top of journalism’s repulsive little food chain,” Radford continued, “Host Tucker Carlson mocking her after she called for an end to online harassment. Now she’s at the center of a new study by NYU researchers, among the first to actually quantify online hate against female journalists.”
The point of Carlson’s segment wasn’t mocking Lorenz for being the worst parts of the internet, but pointing out that she claims to be against harassment but, because she isn’t very good at her job, she ends up being what she claims oppose.
Of course, MSNBC didn’t mention that Lorenz’s inaccurate reporting that led to the segment and of course, it doesn’t justify death threats or sexual harassment, but it does mean that Fox News and Tucker Carlson aren’t responsible when they were simply criticizing her work.
Still, in an effort to tug at viewers’ heart strings, Lorenz noted, “Yeah, they’ll threaten children, they’ll threaten my parents. I’ve had to remove every single social tie. I have severe PTSD from this, I—I– contemplated suicide, it got really bad. You feel like any little piece of information that gets out on you will be used by the worst people on the internet to destroy your life and it’s so isolating.”
Lorenz offered some less than stellar commentary for MSNBC this week. On Wednesday, she commented that “the dog whistle nature” of criticism towards TikTok is full of “anti-China sentiment” and “sounded sort of, almost QAnon-like.”
Back in studio, Radford did not that Greenwald provided MSNBC with a comment on the segment’s premise, ““as a member of various marginalized groups I don’t want or accept some special immunity yield against being criticized and no journalist with any dignity or worth should want that either.”
Todd was focusing on women younger than 35. Lorenz, however, claimed that she is 43. This is despite the fact that her age is one controversy in modern journalism. Then there’s her job which requires her to cover teenage birthday parties.
Sponsored by Colonial Penn.
This transcript is for the show on April 1.
MSNBC MTP Daily
1.51 PM ET
CHUCK TODD: We are back. This week the White House proclaimed April as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. One of the fastest growing threats to women is online harassment. The latest government statistics show 1 in 3 women under the age of 35 have experienced a type of essentially sexual harassment online. It’s often under-reported and many times not taken seriously despite its serious risk to mental health and physical safety.
The Biden administration is committed to a new global partnership for action on gender-based online harassment and abuse. This year’s goal is to deliver an action plan on combating technology-facilitated gender-based violence.
Morgan Radford is now with me. She’s been doing some reporting on the impact on this type of harassment, especially the impact it has on women in journalism, and it’s not even a close call, Morgan, as nasty as the attacks can be on—on—on– some of us in this business, if you’re a woman it is at another level.
MORGAN RADFORD: Yeah, that’s right Chuck and you know, before this was all sort of anecdotal, but now we have hard data. I mean, this is one of the biggest issues facing female journalists right now, and an unprecedented study is giving us a closer look at just how online attacks against female journalists are actually getting started and what it looks like for those who are on the receiving end, but a warning to our viewers, some of the language you here in this report, it may be disturbing.
Female reporters are often at the center of the bullseye, 73% of women journalists saying they experienced online attacks while 30% say it impacted their work.
TAYLOR LORENZ: I don’t know if I can say this on TV, “I‘m going to rape you.”
RADFORD: Someone said, wrote the words, “I’m going to rape you”?
RADFORD: Taylor Lorenz, a journalist for The Radford Times is a columnist Washington Post and was targeted one year ago in a segment on Fox News.
TUCKER CARLSON: She’s at the very top of journalism’s repulsive little food chain.
RADFORD – Tucker Carlson ridicules her following her call for an end online harassment. Now she’s at the center of a new study by NYU researchers, among the first to actually quantify online hate against female journalists.
RADFORD – This was the moment Carlson broadcast that segment.
RESEARCHER: Yes. It is quite dramatic.
RADFORD: Using large-scale data to measure online language, they tracked violent and threatening tweets at two female journalists after being targeted by two male media figures. The researchers discovered that Lorenz’s attacks went up by as high as 144% in just one twitter thread. Another journalist saw an increase of 65%. Lorenz and digital reporter Kate Sosin say these types of attacks have changed their lives and their work.
KATE SOSIN: There’s reporting that I know that I would like to do that other journalists would like to do that we are not able to do because it’s not safe enough for us to do them.
RADFORD: They aren’t the only ones.
This is after I did a report on the increase in the number of white supremacist running for office, “condescending journalist [c-word] deserves a rope.” Obviously, I’m a person of color. In the above, you will see a mention of a noose. Do you get messages such as these?
LORENZ: Yup. “Hey nice job on that story you soulless effing [bleep]” then also see there’s these, there’s many people that are tweeting, you know, here’s, these are Taylor Lorenz’s loved ones.
RADFORD – They have photographs. Wow, these are all photos of your family members. Children
LORENZ: Yeah. Yeah, they’ll threaten children, they’ll threaten my parents. I’ve had to remove every single social tie. I have severe PTSD from this, I—I– contemplated suicide, it got really bad. You feel like any little piece of information that gets out on you will be used by the worst people on the internet to destroy your life and it’s so isolating.
RADFORD: The terrifying.
LORENZ: It’s horrifying. I am so sorry.
RADFORD: No, you’re fine. You’re fine.
LORENZ: It’s overwhelming. It’s very difficult.
RADFORD: Now Chuck, we reached out to Glenn Greenwald and Fox News about the study. Greenwald responded saying in part “as a member of various marginalized groups I don’t want or accept some special immunity yield against being criticized and no journalist with any dignity or worth should want that either.” Neither Tucker Carlson nor his employer, Fox News, have responded to us, Chuck.