Twitchy (here and here), as well as many other outlets, reported that journalist Julia Ioffe made a rather substantial gaffe on Twitter. Ioffe was the Russian correspondent for the New Yorker, then a senior editor for The New Republic, and most recently wrote for Politico. I’ve previously taken apart one of her religion-coddling pieces that was published in Foreign Policy. Many of her pieces, I should add, are thoughtful and good.)
One of the Twitchy pieces is amusingly called “Finally, the wait for a pro journalist to imply there’s incest in the Trump family is over.” Indeed, for here’s Ioffe’s Fatal Tweet (now deleted but saved for posterity):
Now for a professional journalist, that’s a reprehensible thing to say. I deplore Trump, but we gain nothing when journalists accuse him of incest. Maybe that’s an appropriate tweet for a troll, but not for someone like Ioffe.
Shortly thereafter, Ioffe started realizing that maybe she said the wrong thing. But she couldn’t quite get to a full apology:
The realization sank in further as she grasped what she had sent out to her 83,500 followers:
Alas, too late: as Snopes reports, Ioffe was fired from Politico. But no worries—Ioffe’s landed a job with The Atlantic:
And the latest development: 21 journalists have defended Ioffe, and only one even alludes to her tweet being reprehensible. The rest support her, excuse what she said because of Trump’s own “lewd” remarks, excoriate Politico for firing her, and, amazingly say they share her sentiments in that tweet!. Example:
here’s some other specimens from writers:
These and the others are all, like Ioffe, professional journalists. It seems to be the case that when Trump goes low, it’s okay for journalists to go lower. This does not presage an era of responsible journalism. And imagine what would have happened if a journalist tweeted that Bill Clinton was “fucking his daughter”! The left-wing press would have bayed for blood.
Now Ioffe has apologized, so I’m not sure whether she should lose her job at The Atlantic, though I think many reputable places would have rescinded their offer. Frankly, that bothers me less than what I see happening to the press. It’s fine to report on Trump, investigate him, and, in op-eds, excoriate him. But this kind of smear is simply out of place for a professional and reputable journalist. And Iofee, it seems, apologized only after she confected a notapology and then realized it wouldn’t stifle the critics.