Windy City Times says claim reporter reassigned over Dyke March coverage is false

Tue. July 18, 2017 7:12 PM by News Staff

gretchen rachel hammond

photo credit // facebook

WCT: ‘The internal reasons for this change are personal, and should not be exploited by people and organizations trying to create a controversy.’

Chicago, IL - Windy City Times has released a statement calling claims of personnel changes related to their Dyke March coverage as false.

In a tweet Monday, reporter Gretchen Rachel Hammond wrote to Dyke March's Twitter account that "You attacked, humiliated and robbed me of a job."

Hammond later followed up with another tweet saying:

"I will not comment on any decision made by my present employer or impugn the organization. The DMC [Dyke March Chicago] threatened me then bragged about it".

The newspaper issued the following statement on July 18:

"We at Windy City Times stand by, and have always stood by, our Dyke March stories, and the reporters who wrote them. We did not receive any pressure to fire anyone, or reassign anyone, and even if we had, we would never bow to such pressure—and never have in 32 years of publishing. The internal reasons for this change are personal, and should not be exploited by people and organizations trying to create a controversy. We ask that people understand that we feel it inappropriate to give reasons for an internal change, as it would not be helpful to anyone."

Despite statements to the contrary from Windy City Times publisher Tracy Baim, Jewish media outlets Algemeiner and Haaretz have reported that Hammond, a transgender journalist who converted to Judaism last year, was reassigned to non-journalistic duties at the LGBT newspaper over her June 24 report that three Jewish women were ejected from the Chicago Dyke March for carrying LGBT pride flags with a Star of David on them. The women, as well as Jewish organizations, have accused the Dyke March of anti-Semitism.

Windy City Times initially broke the story, which has since created an international firestorm.

On June 28, Alexis Martinez, an organizer of the march, told Hammond in an interview that she and the newspaper had "failed in its journalistic mission" for not contacting her before breaking the story. Organizers said the the march was "anti-Zionist," and not "anti-Semitic." They argued the women were ejected for being disruptive. 

Baim, who is Jewish, reiterated to her support of the paper's Dyke March coverage. She said the change in Hammond's duties is unrelated and has nothing to do with political pressure. 

Hammond, who joined Windy City Times as a part-time sales person and part-time reporter in 2013, was reassigned to just sales July 10.


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