clock menu more-arrow no yes

The New York Times editor says the newspaper won’t ever stop covering Trump’s tweets

“Even if they’re his late-night thoughts or his early-morning thoughts, they’re his thoughts.”

Dean Baquet, New York Times, Code Asa Mathat

President Donald Trump’s constant tweets tend to set off four-alarm fires in newsrooms across the country — including the New York Times, where the paper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, stressed his reporters won’t ever stop chasing them down.

“I’ve heard the criticism that we should just stop covering [Trump’s tweets],” Baquet said at the Code Conference at the Terranea Resort in California. “He’s the president of the United States. Even if they’re his late-night thoughts or his early-morning thoughts, they’re his thoughts.”

Baquet said the NYT will “truth squad all of them as soon as they come up,” checking the nature of Trump’s information while comparing him to “things he’s said before.”

Meanwhile, the Times’ top editor sounded a much more skeptical note about Facebook.

“We have a complicated relationship with Facebook,” Baquet said, before acknowledging that the Times must “go where the readers are.”

He didn’t explain his reservations, but Baquet later acknowledged he is “wary” of one of Facebook’s offerings to publishers — Instant Articles — a program in which the Times had been a launch partner yet kept its involvement “fairly limited.”

Still, Baquet disagreed that Facebook should play a greater role in trying to crack down on websites that peddle “fake news.”

“I don’t know what I think about Facebook’s obligation to police that,” Baquet said. Noting there’s an exception for hate speech, he added: “I’m a First Amendment, free speech absolutist.”

Watch: Dean Baquet discussing Facebook

This article originally appeared on

Help us explore what’s working

Part of explaining the news is critically examining potential solutions to big problems. Will you support this work with a gift to Vox?