(NewsNation) — The New York Times received criticism on social media after it published a Sunday crossword puzzle that some say resembled a swastika.
Several of those who slammed the newspaper online for the puzzle pointed out that it was published on the eve of Hanukkah.
“What the hell, @nytimes?” Democratic strategist Keith Edwards wrote on Twitter.
It also caught the attention of Donald Trump Jr.
“Only the New York Times would get Chanukah going with this is crossword puzzle. Imagine what they would do to someone who did this and was not ideologically aligned with them? I’ll give them the same benefit of the doubt they would give those people… EXACTLY ZERO,” the former president’s son tweeted.
Ian Samuel, a former law clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, said on “Morning in America,” however, that he doesn’t understand what Trump Jr.’s point is.
“His father just had dinner with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West,” Samuel said. “Nick Fuentes is the guy who’s actually an anti-Semite, right?”
Fuentes has been deemed a white supremacist by the Justice Department and is known for racist and antisemitic rhetoric. Meanwhile, West, who now goes by “Ye,” has posted threatening comments about Jewish people on Twitter and Instagram, and also said he sees “good things about Hitler” during an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Samuel argued on “NewsNation” that one can’t decry the New York Times while also claiming it’s not a big deal for Trump to have dinner with Holocaust deniers.
“You have to pick one of those two reactions,” he said.
In an email to Snopes, a spokesperson for The New York Times said Sunday’s puzzle had a common crossword design.
“Many open grids in crosswords have a similar spiral pattern because of the rules around rotational symmetry and black squares,” the spokesperson said.
As Jewish Journal columnist Blake Flayton pointed out, this has happened to the New York Times before. He quote-tweeted a post the Times made on Oct. 28, 2017, that said “Yes, hi.It’s NOT a swastika. Honest to God. No one sits down to make a crossword puzzle and says, “Hey! You know what would look cool?”