Writer who was subjected to anti-Semitic abuse fired for Trump incest tweet
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Writer who was subjected to anti-Semitic abuse fired for Trump incest tweet

Julia Ioffe, recently hired by The Atlantic, sent packing early from Politico after asking whether Trump was sleeping with daughter Ivanka

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump attend the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images via JTA)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump attend the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images via JTA)

A writer who was subjected to anti-Semitic abuse from supporters of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign has been dismissed from news website Politico after tweeting a vulgar joke about the president-elect and his daughter Ivanka.

Julia Ioffe wrote in a tweet earlier Wednesday, which was later deleted, that “either Trump is fucking his daughter or he’s shirking nepotism laws. Which is worse?” in response to an article that Ivanka may receive the first lady’s office in the White House.

Ioffe, who had already planned to leave Politico for Atlantic, was fired shortly thereafter.

Politico editor-in-chief John Harris and editor Carrie Budoff Brown told employees that “there is little tolerance for this type of behavior” and that “it has absolutely zero value for our readers and should have zero place in our work.”

“Gratuitous opinion has no place, anywhere, at any time – not on your Facebook feed, your Twitter feed or any place else. It has absolutely zero value for our readers and should have zero place in our work,” Politico editor-in-chief John Harris and editor Carrie Budoff Brown wrote in a letter to staff.

“We have accelerated the close of [Ioffe’s] POLITICO contributor contract, effective immediately,” they added.

Atlantic wrote in response to Ioffe’s tweet and the news of her firing from Politico that she “made a mistake today on Twitter, which she regrets and for which she has publicly apologized. We’re confident that when she joins The Atlantic next month she will adhere to our standards.”

Ioffe tried walk back her comments later in the day, writing in a series of Twitter posts that “I do regret my phrasing and apologize for it” and that “it was a crass joke that I genuinely regret.”

 

However, she also wrote that “we have a president-elect who popularized ‘saying what everyone is thinking,’ but I guess my phrasing should’ve been more delicate.”

Ioffe, who is Jewish, received a barrage of anti-Semitic tweets, emails and threatening phone calls during the US presidential campaign from Trump supporters after writing an article critical of the president-elect’s wife Melania Trump.

“It’s unsettling,” Ioffe told The Guardian in April. “I started the day off having a sense of humor about it but by the end of the day, after a few phone calls like this, with people playing Hitler speeches, and the imagery, and people telling me my face would look good on a lampshade, it’s hard to laugh.”

Julia Ioffe gives an interview to CNN in September 2013 (YouTube screenshot)
Julia Ioffe gives an interview to CNN in September 2013 (YouTube screenshot)

“If this is how Trump supporters swing into action what happens when the press looks into corrupt dealings, for example, or is critical of his policies?”

Ioffe, who was born in the former Soviet Union, characterized the responses to her article as “horrible anti-Semitic shit that I’ve only ever seen in Russia.”

Harassment directed at Ioffe and other journalists spurred the Anti-Defamation League to form a task force in June to investigate the issue.

 

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