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Ex-New York Times editor says staffers actually shamed him during meeting for liking Chick-fil-A. Notable voices back him up.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images (left); Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images (right)

Ex-New York Times editor says staffers actually shamed him during meeting for liking Chick-fil-A. Notable voices back him up.

Adam Rubenstein penned a lengthy essay for the Atlantic this week titled "I Was a Heretic at the New York Times" — and in it the former opinion editor for the storied newspaper chronicled his pointed struggles as a conservative voice in the face of a tsunami of left-wing opposition on staff.

In many ways, Rubenstein's opening two paragraphs capture what many in conservative circles have grown to expect from the increasingly galvanized leftist media.

But in this case it was all about woke opposition to the author's — believe it or not — sandwich of choice:

On one of my first days at The New York Times, I went to an orientation with more than a dozen other new hires. We had to do an icebreaker: Pick a Starburst out of a jar and then answer a question. My Starburst was pink, I believe, and so I had to answer the pink prompt, which had me respond with my favorite sandwich. Russ & Daughters’ Super Heebster came to mind, but I figured mentioning a $19 sandwich wasn’t a great way to win new friends. So I blurted out, “The spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A,” and considered the ice broken.

The HR representative leading the orientation chided me: “We don’t do that here. They hate gay people.” People started snapping their fingers in acclamation. I hadn’t been thinking about the fact that Chick-fil-A was transgressive in liberal circles for its chairman’s opposition to gay marriage. “Not the politics, the chicken,” I quickly said, but it was too late. I sat down, ashamed.


Leftists don't like getting called out for their dirty laundry, and it was no different once word spread about Rubenstein's opening anecdote.

Nikole Hannah-Jones — author of the heavily criticized New York Times magazine series "The 1619 Project" — offered a two-word retort to Rubenstein's Chick-fil-A shaming account:

Image source: X

Here's another:

Image source: X

Perhaps spurred on by Hobbes' question, journalist Jesse Singal indeed contacted the Atlantic to check on the veracity of Rubenstein's Chick-fil-A claim. Here's how the outlet responded:

Bari Weiss — also a former NYT opinion editor who famously resigned in July 2020 after "constant bullying" from colleagues as she challenged the paper's leftism — backed up Rubenstein's words:

Singal wasn't through, and he mocked Rubenstein's naysayers in a subsequent post:

Singal also noted: "I am once again confused as to why journalists are comfortable loudly accusing others of lying rather than doing bare-basic reporting. This took me 10 minutes of work."

Statistics expert Nate Silver seemed to enjoy watching things play out: "I didn't weigh in on this based on fact the people who asserted without any pretext of evidence that claim was fabricated are such an All-Star team of professional bulls**tters that it seemed too good to be true, but it is nevertheless satisfying to see one's priors confirmed."

More fun:

Image source: X

What's more, the X posts by Hobbes and Jones got the infamous "readers added context" treatment: "The Atlantic has confirmed that they successfully verified this incident's occurrence, and three people have stepped forward to say that Adam Rubenstein told them the story five years ago, exactly as it was written in the Atlantic."

The New York Post in its story about Rubenstein's Chick-fil-A claims said Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha offered the following statement: “Our Opinion section’s commitment to publishing diverse views — including those that are unpopular, controversial or heterodox — is unwavering."

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Dave Urbanski

Dave Urbanski

Sr. Editor, News

Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News and has been writing for Blaze News since 2013. He has also been a newspaper reporter, a magazine editor, and a book editor. He resides in New Jersey. You can reach him at durbanski@blazemedia.com.
@DaveVUrbanski →