NYU journalism school hires reporter who resigned over Nazi tweet

The school previously hired former Teen Vogue columnist Lauren Duca to teach a "Feminist Journalist" course.

A "Reporting on the Far Right" course at NYU will be taught by a former New Yorker journalist who falsely claimed that an ICE agent and disabled veteran had a Nazi tattoo.

New York University has hired a former New Yorker journalist who resigned after falsely reporting that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent had a Nazi tattoo.

The school has employed Talia Lavin, a former fact-checker for the New Yorker, to be an adjunct professor and teach a fall 2019 course called “Reporting on the Far Right,” as The Wrap was one of the first to report. Lavin has a focus on “far-right extremism and social justice,” according to her university bio.

“The course will also teach students vital tactics in identifying and tracking the spread of far-right movements online,” the course description says. “With the aid of landmark investigations on the subject, and guest speakers who are working reporters on the beat, the course will teach students how to track far-right harassment campaigns to their sources and uncover the identities of white supremacist propagandists on the web.”

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In addition, the course also teaches students “the psychological impact of reporting on hate and the threats to physical safety and mental health that the beat represents.”

“The course will address issues of online harassment, from SEO bombing to SWATting, and will present students with a comprehensive toolkit to maintain their digital safety and protect their psyches while diving deep into disturbing material,” the description continues.

Lavin’s course meets once a week for nearly four hours per class. According to the description, students need “department consent” to take the course. Lavin commented on coverage of her course, stating on Twitter “imagine having nothing better to do with your life than pounce on an unemployed 29-year-old’s side gig. Its [sic] sad.”

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When Lavin was still working for the New Yorker and after she had first reported on the Nazi tattoo, ICE tweeted out a statement specifically calling Lavin out for the mistake she made, stating that “anyone attempting to advance their personal political opinion by baselessly slandering an American hero should be issuing public apologies to Mr. [Justin] Gaertner and retractions. This includes Levin and the New Yorker.”

While Lavin did apologize to Gaertner, the ICE agent and war veteran who lost both of his legs on a mission whom she falsely accused of having a Nazi tattoo, she still said that ICE was in the wrong for “targeting” her.

“This has been a wild and difficult week. I owe ICE agent Justin Gaertner a sincere apology for spreading a rumor about his tattoo,” Lavin said in a tweet. “However, I do not think it is acceptable for a federal agency to target a private citizen for a good faith, hastily rectified error.”

Campus Reform reached out to Lavin and NYU but did not receive responses in time for publication.

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Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture at the conservative media watchdog Media Research Center, reacted to NYU’s decision to hire Lavin, telling Campus Reform, “I love truth in advertising. This is NYU showing the world that it doesn’t hire the best journalists, it hires the most liberal. An NYU journalism degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.”

NYU also recently hired former Teen Vogue columnist Lauren Duca to teach a course, titled, “The Feminist Journalist,” The College Fix reported.

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