Daily Beast reporter Olivia Nuzzi published a powerful piece Tuesday in which she mused on the current state of political conversation and media engagement in America, pegged to some online harassment she’s recently had to endure.
Mike Krawitz, a Republican township committee candidate for West Deptford, New Jersey, drew major attention Monday after he posted a series of alarming comments towards Nuzzi on Facebook. Not the least significant of these remarks was “I. Hope. Somebody. Rapes. You. Today.”
Nuzzi stated yesterday that Krawitz has been a regular troll of hers for some time, and today, she went into detail about how much vitriol and personal invective she receives whenever her journalism is critical of Republican figures. This behavior, Nuzzi says, became especially prevalent when Donald Trump‘s incendiary rhetoric led to the “institutionalization” of sentiments embraced by the alt-right.
The Daily Beast received notice of the withdrawal of Kravitz’s candidacy from the West Deptford Executive Board, but Nuzzi stated that “the fate of political discourse in America is less certain.”
Nuzzi observed that the current social climate has made it so that “bullying has been rebranded as telling it like it is,” and that America has entered a “post-shame era” where political debates have been replaced by flame wars:
“Using obscene or threatening language is a point of pride, proof that you’re beholden to nothing but the truth. And anyone who can’t handle that? Well, they’re just a politically correct loser.
When a former reality TV star can become the Republican nominee while offending and belittling entire genders, races and religions, why wouldn’t a man seeking local office think that encouraging the rape of a woman he hates is OK?”
Krawitz resigned his candidacy on Tuesday afternoon via this handwritten note:
BREAKING: So. Jersey candidate who said he hoped reporter would be raped withdraws from race via handwritten note pic.twitter.com/Jyj5ZIWzRS
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) September 6, 2016
[Image via Twitter]
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