FACT CHECK: Did The New York Times Publish An Article About A Conservative Activist Having ‘Recurring Superdiarrhea’?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims The New York Times reported that conservative activist Christopher Rufo stopped his activism due to “recurring superdiarrhea.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that The New York Times published any such article. A spokesperson for the newspaper refuted the claim.

Fact Check:

Rufo is a conservative activist and writer known for his reporting about critical race theory, according to The New Yorker. He has recently taken aim at what he sees as systemic “grooming” in the public school system, The Washington Post reported.

An image shared on Facebook claims The New York Times recently published an article about him titled, “He was one of the right’s most outspoken leaders. Then he got sick.” The article’s subheadline reads, “Christopher Rufo helped make critical race theory a conservative rallying cry. An unusual case of recurring ‘superdiarrhea’ put a sudden stop to his activism.”

The article is not genuine. Check Your Fact searched The New York Times website, as well as the outlet’s verified social media accounts, but found no trace of the purported story. (RELATED: Did The New York Times Publish An Article About Pfizer’s CEO Vowing To Rebuild The Georgia Guidestones?)

“This is a fake image, and not a headline or summary ever written or published by The New York Times,” said Charlie Stadtlander, a spokesperson for the newspaper, in an email Check Your Fact.

Stadtlander pointed Check Your Fact to a genuine April 24 New York Times article about Rufo that features the same image but is titled, “He Fuels the Right’s Cultural Fires (and Spreads Them to Florida).” The image shared on Facebook appears to be an altered version of this article.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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