Who is Mara Gay? NYT defends board member after 'dozens of US flags on trucks' comment
'Her argument was that Trump and many of his supporters have politicized the American flag,' the New York Times said
New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay was at the center of a controversy when she went on air and spoke about how she was "disturbed" by the number of American flags that were on display during a trip to Long Island. After saying that, she was widely criticized on social media and people called her out for apparently taking digs at displays of patriotism.
Following the backlash, the paper's official PR Twitter account supported Gay and took to Twitter to share, "New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay's comments on MSNBC have been irresponsibly taken out of context."
New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay's comments on MSNBC have been irresponsibly taken out of context. Her argument was that Trump and many of his supporters have politicized the American flag. The attacks on her today are ill-informed and grounded in bad-faith.— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) June 8, 2021
What did Mara Gay say?
During her appearance on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' on Monday, June 7, 2021, Gay said she was "disturbed" to see American flags flown on pickup trucks during a recent trip to Long Island. The journalist was responding to a call by host Mika Brzezinski for an investigation into the January 6 Capitol riots. Gay, who also works as an MSNBC commentator, said that the flags were being flown on trucks belonging to Trump supporters. These vehicles also bore expletives against President Joe Biden.
"The reality is here that we have a large percentage of the American population — I don't know how big it is, but we have tens of millions of Trump voters who continue to believe that their rights as citizens are under threat by simple virtue of having to share the democracy with others," Gay had said on MSNBC. "I was on Long Island this weekend visiting a really dear friend, and I was really disturbed. I saw, you know, dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with explicatives (sic) against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and in some cases just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing because essentially the message was clear. It was this is my country. This is not your country. I own this."
She added that a solution, "to get every American a place at the table," needed to involve separating "whiteness" from "Americanness".
Who is Mara Gay?
Mara Gay is a member of the New York Times editorial board who focuses on New York State and local affairs. She has been with NYT since 2018. She is an alum of The Wall Street Journal, where she was a City Hall reporter. She covered Mayors Bill de Blasio and Michael Bloomberg, and, according to her author page on the publication's website, "dozens of other stories that have shaped the nation’s largest, most dynamic city".
In addition to that, Gay has also worked for the New York Daily News, The Atlantic and The Daily. She has a degree in political science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is a New York City native and lives in Brooklyn.