View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
October 27, 2022updated 14 Nov 2022 6:12am

New York Post hacked ‘by employee’ to publish incendiary content in governor candidate’s name

By Bron Maher

The website of the New York Post has been hacked and used to publish inflammatory false headlines attributed to the Republican gubernatorial candidate.

The offending articles appeared to report that Lee Zeldin, currently a congressman representing New York, had made racist and misogynist remarks.

The stories appeared under Zeldin’s own name.

The Post has said in a statement that an employee had posted the content to the site.

Screenshots of the offending articles, which have now been deleted by the Post, are circulating online. Press Gazette has confirmed at least two of them were previously on the site using a web archive.

The stories, once published, appear to have then been posted to the New York Post’s Twitter account. It is unclear whether this was automatic or the hacker had access to the publisher’s Twitter feed.

Zeldin is campaigning to unseat New York’s Democratic governor Kathy Hochul, who took office in August last year when the previous governor, Andrew Cuomo, stepped down following allegations of sexual harassment. The election is less than two weeks away.

In each case, only the headline appears to have made the false claims, with the text below resembling normal Post content. One wrote about holiday decorations and the other a more pedestrian political story about Zeldin attacking New York’s mayor Eric Adams.

One of the two deleted headlines seen by Press Gazette claimed that Zeldin had used a racist phrase to describe Adams, who is black. The other reported that Zeldin had said he planned to sexually assault Hochul.

Another headline, which Press Gazette has not been able to find archived, appeared to have falsely reported that Texas’ governor was ordering Border Patrol to murder migrants crossing the border. A fourth, under the byline for Republican Senator Ted Cruz, called for the assassination of Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The New York Post, part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, has been supportive of Zeldin. An opinion article by conservative commentator John Podhoretz published to the site on Wednesday charged: “Lee Zeldin shows he understands crime crisis Hochul dismisses”.

Similarly, an editorial on Tuesday cheered: “Passionate Zeldin beats robot Hochul in NY governor debate”.

A New York Post spokesperson confirmed the hack to Press Gazette, saying: “The New York Post’s investigation indicates that the unauthorised conduct was committed by an employee, and we are taking appropriate action. We have removed the vile and reprehensible content that was posted, and are still investigating the cause.”

The New York Post is not the only news publisher to have been prominently hacked recently. In September business magazine Fast Company appeared to send out a racist statement via an Apple News push notification – a story covered by the Post itself.

Picture: Press Gazette screenshot

Topics in this article :

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network