Regardless of intent

Intent doesn’t matter?

Use/mention distinction.

Also…

Maybe there’s more to it.

The Daily Beast is patting itself on the back for being the source:

The New York Times on Friday announced the ouster of science and health reporter Donald McNeil Jr., who The Daily Beast reported had allegedly used racist language while on a 2019 trip with students to Peru.

McNeil, formerly the paper of record’s top reporter on COVID-19, leaves amid fallout from an incident that occurred during a Times-sponsored educational trip to Peru when he used the “n-word” and made other racist comments, according to complaints first reported by The Daily Beast. At least six students or their parents claimed McNeil had made racist and sexist remarks throughout the trip.

McNeil’s departure comes just days after Times staffers wrote a letter to the paper’s top brass expressing outrage over the allegations that McNeil had used racial slurs, and over the response from Times leadership, which the letter’s signers suggested was wholly insufficient.

Times executive editor Dean Baquet had previously said McNeil should be “given another chance” because his comments were not “hateful or malicious” in intent, but in a message to staff on Friday, the top editor wrote, “We do not tolerate racist language regardless of intent.”

See above. The word appeared in the paper just this week. Reporting on the word is not using the word.

Maybe there’s more to it. Maybe there isn’t.

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