An award-winning reporter who first revealed that three Jewish women were ejected from the Dyke March in Chicago last month for carrying LGBT flags adorned with the Star of David has been reassigned to non-journalistic duties at The Windy City Times, the paper which published the original story, Ben Cohen reported for The Algemeiner Monday.
In her initial report of the event, Gretchen Rachel Hammond quoted an organizer of the LGBT march explaining that the Jewish women were targeted because their flags were “triggering,” “made people feel unsafe,” and that the march was “anti-Zionist” and “pro-Palestinian.”
The Windy City Times—whose masthead featured Hammond as a senior writer until a week ago—now employs Hammond as a “senior account executive.” Hammond confirmed to The Algemeiner that she had been reassigned by the newspaper and was no longer tasked with reporting and writing for the outlet.
“At this time, I have not been fired from Windy City Times, but I have been transferred to working full time for the sales department,” Hammond wrote in an email. “The reasoning is an internal matter and I have been instructed not to comment about it even to close friends. Given my present situation, I must comply with this instruction,” she added.
When approached by The Algemeiner, Tracy Baim—the publisher and executive editor of The Windy City Times—told the paper that she could not discuss the Hammond case. “I cannot comment on our people, but know that we stand by our reporting on our stories,” Baim stated in a telephone conversation.
She refused to say why Hammond had not filed a byline for the paper since June 28, but claimed to stand by Hammond’s reporting of the Dyke March controversy. “I was the one who edited the story,” Baim explained.
Hammond joined The Windy City Times as a reporter in 2013 and was very successful in her career. In 2016, she won the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Award for Excellence in News Writing. This year, she was shortlisted for the second time for the Lisagor Award, which honors journalists in Chicago.