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New York Times, overwhelmed after anonymous op-ed, increases security for newsroom

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The New York Times increased security at its newsroom after backlash from an anonymous op-ed allegedly written by a White House official. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

The New York Times, seemingly surprised and overwhelmed by the reaction to its anonymous op-ed about President Donald Trump, has increased security at the paper's newsroom as a precaution, according to The Hill.

According to a Times memo, the extra security is a reaction to "the heightened nature of the attention we are receiving right now."

"We didn't realize it would be this big of an impact," Times op-ed editor Jim Dao said on a podcast, after the piece garnered more than 12 million page views.

Phones ringing off the hook

The only thing that has changed for The New York Times since publishing the controversial op-ed is that the paper is getting a lot more phone calls and emails.

That's probably because White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted out the Times' phone number and told her followers to call the opinion desk.

"If you want to know who this gutless loser is, call the opinion desk of the failing New York Times at 212-556-1234, and ask them," Sanders wrote. "They are the only ones complicit in this deceitful act."

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Is it really surprising?

Given that there was very little to be gained by publishing the anonymous article besides increased attention, it's hard to believe the Times didn't see this coming.

Hopefully there is no actual need for increased security; we don't need to see another tragic violent attack on a media organization. But a bunch of angry phone calls is a fair and obvious price that must be paid for allowing a Trump administration official to hide behind anonymity while describing efforts to secretly control the president.

On the bright side for the Times, the calls aren't all bad. Times reporters have also received plenty of positive calls, although they've now been instructed to not answer the phone for any numbers they don't recognize.

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