Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to indicate that Andy Ngo was out of Portland for safety reasons at the time of the alleged encounter.
A contributor to The Daily Beast reportedly harassed an Asian man at a New Orleans bar after mistaking him for conservative journalist Andy Ngo.
In a tweet last Thursday, Thor Benson, who also writes for other news outlets, announced that he ran into Andy Ngo at the unidentified bar and “politely told him he’s a ‘garbage person.’” The confrontation, Benson added, presumably made Ngo leave.
Ngo, however, denied encountering Benson in a tweet on Friday. He did not disclose his location but told NextShark that he was not in his native of Portland either, citing safety reasons.
“Thor Benson, a white freelance writer, thought he found me & instead harassed a random Asian in New Orleans & made him leave a bar. Benson’s followers said the man should’ve been assaulted,” Ngo wrote in his response, which includes screenshots of threatening replies from other Twitter users, including one that said, “Shoulda clocked him.”
Ngo, who focuses on exposing Antifa activities, has been on the receiving end of physical attacks and online threats for years. He tagged The Daily Beast’s Editor-in-Chief Tracy Connor in his initial tweet, asking, “you okay w/your contributor doing this?”
Despite Ngo’s claims, Benson insists that he was not mistaken. “Would have been more convincing if you hadn’t responded when I called you by your name,” he wrote.
The Post Millennial, where Ngo is the editor-at-large, reported the writer has accused others of being racist in the past.
While some users expressed support for Benson’s actions, others pointed out that he could not tell the difference between Asians.
“White journalist harasses random Asian person at bar wrongly thinking he’s Andy Ngo. Because I guess we all look the same,” wrote content creator Lauren Chen.
One Twitter user also called out Benson for what appeared to be conflicting statements. In a tweet posted minutes after his initial tweet, Benson wrote that he was the one who “went out” after their encounter: “I was at a dive bar and he came in and started talking to people and I put my hand on his shoulder and said it and then went out for a cigarette.”
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.