- The Washington Times - Friday, March 29, 2019

New York magazine and HuffPost journalist Yashar Ali fired off a series of explosive tweets Friday afternoon accusing Dafna Linzer, the managing editor of politics at NBC News and MSNBC, of trying to bully him into delaying a story “at the behest of the DNC.”

“Yesterday, I received a call from @DafnaLinzer who serves as managing editor of NBC/MSNBC politics,” Mr. Ali wrote. “Dafna’s conduct during the call was highly inappropriate and unethical. So what was the purpose of her call? She called me to bully me on behalf of the DNC.”

Mr. Ali said he was preparing to publish an “innocuous scoop” from a trusted source about the dates for the Democratic National Committee’s first 2020 primary debates, when he received a “menacing” call from Ms. Linzer trying to get him to wait on the scoop until the DNC had enough time to notify the state parties first.

“She asked if I could hold the story and I said I couldn’t,” Mr. Ali wrote. “She was agitated, ‘why not?’ I said I’m not going to lose a scoop. Then she got angrier and said ‘Why not? It’s not a big deal, let them make a few phone calls.’ My jaw dropped.

“I realized that @DafnaLinzer, the head of all political coverage for NBC News and MSNBC wasn’t calling to advocate for her network, she was calling to advocate the DNC’s position. She wanted me to wait so they could call state party leaders,” he wrote. “I kept telling Dafna no, that I wasn’t waiting. And she kept getting more frustrated. She was exasperated…she didn’t understand why I couldn’t wait for the DNC to make their state notification calls.”



Mr. Ali said he eventually ended the call after Ms. Linzer demanded to speak with his editor.

“After the call with Dafna I published the stupid scoop,” he wrote. “Then I did a gut check and over the next two hours I called 10 experienced prominent reporters and told them the story. They were all stunned by what Dafna did and encouraged me to share it publicly.

“I’m not naive to the fact that this incident is going to be twisted by some with an agenda to discredit the media and say they collude with political parties,” he wrote. “But I think its more important to expose bad behavior then keep it under wraps. What Dafna did was unethical.”

Ms. Linzer, a former Washington Post reporter who has been managing editor of politics at NBC News and MSNBC since 2015, has not yet responded to Mr. Ali’s allegations.

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