FACT CHECK: Did The NYT Publish An Op-Ed Comparing Kim Yo Jong To Elizabeth Warren?

Jonathan Fonti | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Instagram post claims The New York Times put out an op-ed comparing North Korean leader Kim Jung Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.


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NYT opinion section truly contains more creativity than any art museum on earth

A post shared by Brad Troemel (@bradtroemel) on

“NYT opinion section truly contains more creativity than any art museum on earth,” reads the caption.

Verdict: False

There is no record of The New York Times publishing the op-ed. It appears to have been fabricated.

Fact Check:

This isn’t the first time The New York Times has been the target of misinformation on social media. Last month, a viral Facebook image falsely claimed that the media outlet had used a photo of coffins from a 2013 shipwreck to illustrate Italy’s coronavirus death toll, for instance.

The Instagram post allegedly shows a New York Times article that puts up the headline “Is Kim Yo Jong North Korea’s Elizabeth Warren?” The article, purportedly written by journalist Virginia Heffernan, features a photoshopped image and further asks, “She’s shrewd and powerful but can she be the feminist leader the Hermit Kingdom needs?”

There is, however, no record of Heffernan writing the op-ed for The New York Times or any other media outlet. A search of LexisNexis and her more than 1,300 bylines for The New York Times turned up no matches for the alleged article shown in the Instagram post. (RELATED: Viral Video Claims To Show Kim Jong Un’s Funeral)

The New York Times opinion section appears to have only published five pieces mentioning Yo Jong, with the most recent titled, “The Ivanka Trump of North Korea? Oh, Please.” Columnist Frank Bruni wrote that op-ed in February 2018.

The fake op-ed started circulating after media reports speculated that the North Korean leader was near death or dead after he missed the April 15 commemoration of the 108th birthday of Kim Il Sung, his grandfather and founder of the country’s dynastic regime. North Korean state media outlet Korean Central News Agency reported on May 1 that Kim had been photographed cutting the ribbon of a new fertilizer plant in a town north of Pyongyang, according to a translation from South Korean Yonhap News Agency.

Jonathan Fonti

Fact Check Reporter
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