First attributing the online harassment to having his account hacked, the candidate for the township council of the town of West Deptford was later hung out to dry by the local Republican party who said they will 'do whatever it takes to have him removed from the ballot.'
A Republican candidate for the township council in West Deptford, New Jersey told a reporter for The Daily Beast that he hoped she would be raped in a series posts on the reporters Facebook page.
Olivia Nuzzi said that after she posted a story by a colleague, Brandy Zadrozny, about Donald Trump’s second wife, Mike Krawitz, a Republican candidate for the township council left comments on the post.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) September 5, 2016
Caught in what clearly would be a bit of a scandal, Krawitz said his account had been hacked. But soon the state GOP said it could not find any evidence of a hack and told Politico that the party will “do whatever it takes to have him removed from the ballot,” assuming he doesn’t voluntarily resign.
Nuzzi described her Facebook page as “a cesspool of trolls and similar lifeforms who respond to everything I say with vitriol.”
Journalists are increasingly the subject of Internet trolls, and the targeting of journalists has only gotten worse following Gamergate and the rise of the so-called alt-right.
Nuzzi, it should be noted, as had an eventful first few years in the journalism business. Nuzzi attended Fordham University, and in 2013 interned for Anthony Weiner during his mayoral bid. She wrote an unflattering story about her time as an intern for the NY Daily News which led to a rather famous response from the candidate’s Weiner’s communications director published by Talking Points Memo:
“TPM called Weiner’s communications director Barbara Morgan to discuss an unrelated story Tuesday and she went off on a curse-filled rant about Nuzzi, describing her as a fame hungry “bitch” who “sucked” at her job. Morgan also called Nuzzi a “slutbag,” “twat,” and “cunt” while threatening to sue her.”
Nuzzi was hired by The Daily Beast in 2014 and has been covering the Donald Trump campaign.
Update: The Courier-Post reported late this afternoon that they have received hand-written resignation note penned on blue paper allegedly signed by Mike Krawitz. The paper is trying to confirm its authenticity.
My journalism career started in 2013, when I was 20 years old, with the press secretary for a New York City mayoral campaign calling me a “cunt”—on the record—to a national news outlet in response to one of my stories.
If I were easily offended, I would’ve stopped right after reading the resulting headlines. But as it turned out, I have a very high tolerance for the sort of colorful, mangled language critics often apply to reporters—in particular female reporters—they don’t like.
Still, I couldn’t have anticipated how much that episode would set the tone for the ensuing three years and the 2016 election.
Reached by phone Monday, Krawitz said he has been an ardent Trump supporter since the 1980s and does post or shares articles on Facebook favoring the Republican presidential candidate. But he denied commenting on Nuzzi’s recent post.
The Daily Beast, he said, “is a Democratic organization, I don’t even follow that stuff. I don’t go on those websites.”
Krawitz suggested his political opponents may have hacked his account.
“Could be anybody in this township or the Democratic party. When you’re running for township committee in Jersey, these people do anything to try to smear you,” he said.
Nuzzi said Krawitz’s account has been going after her for about a year, “comment[ing] repulsive things usually with that same crazy punctuation.”
After Nuzzi tweeted the Facebook exchange, the West Deptford GOP put up a short post on its Facebook page.
“The executive board of the WDGOP does not condone any repulsive, threatening, or demeaning rhetoric in any social media form or otherwise,” it read. “We are in the process of contacting Twitter for confirmation that someone hacked his account and posted his facebook thumbnail on the hacked twitter entry.”
Nuzzi responded on Facebook that the local party was “spreading misinformation.”
“This harassment occurred on Facebook, and he has been harassing me for well over a year. His account was not hacked,” she wrote.