The hubris of some (OK, many) members of the media is nothing short of disturbing. And in a post-Trump world, the unhinged immaturity is happening in plain sight.
The latest example is Julia Ioffe, a former Politico reporter and a regular guest on cable news outlets like CNN and MSNBC. “Either Trump is [expletive] his daughter, or he's shirking nepotism laws. Which is worse?” Ioffe wrote in a Dec. 14 message on Twitter.
Ioffe was referencing Ivanka Trump reportedly getting an office normally reserved for the first lady at the White House.
Before remotely trying to defend that kind of colorful reporting, as other writers actually are — more on that in a moment — picture a scenario in which Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBen Affleck: Republicans 'want to dodge the consequences for their actions' through gerrymandering Republican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema MORE wins the White House instead of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE. A few weeks later during the transition, a conservative writer attacks Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonIs the US capable of thinking strategically? Bob Dole: heroic, prickly and effective Biden on Bob Dole: 'among the greatest of the Greatest Generation' MORE for doing the same to Chelsea Clinton if she were being considered for a role in a hypothetical Clinton administration.
What exactly would the reaction look like?
OK, let's return back from that apocalyptic world to our regularly scheduled column.
After the Ioffe tweet quickly made the rounds on social media, she still (somehow) didn't understand that what she decided to write was wrong.
We have a president-elect who popularized "saying what everyone is thinking," but I guess my phrasing should've been more delicate.— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 14, 2016
In Russia, the Kremlin rarely has to make the call to media organizations. The media bosses anticipate and do the censoring themselves.— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 14, 2016
From there, apparently someone of influence finally got through to Ioffe. And like magic, because this is exactly how regret doesn't work, the 34-year-old Russian-born journalist apologized right out of the Crisis Management 101 playbook:
All that said, I do regret my phrasing and apologize for it. It was a crass joke that I genuinely regret.— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 14, 2016
It was a tasteless, offensive tweet that I regret and have deleted. I am truly and deeply sorry. It won't happen again.— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 14, 2016
Politico — who already was informed Ioffe was already out the door — said this: "We have accelerated the close of her Politico contributor contract, effective immediately," said a statement from the publication. "We understand how absolutely infuriating it is to have incidents like this tarnish Politico... We feel the same."
But some like The Washington Post's David Weigel think the tweet was perfectly fine. Really.
"Political correctness is bad, unless you’re being rude about Trump. Then it’s time for you to be fired," Weigel tweeted.
Stay classy, Dave.
So is that the end of the story? How long will it be until Ioffe can find a publication reckless enough to hire her? Weeks? Months?
Try five minutes.
Yup. Ioffe is already heading to her new job at The Atlantic, a Boston-based political magazine. The intention to hire her was announced on Dec. 6.
The magazine said in a statement on Wednesday that it is "confident that when she joins The Atlantic next month she will adhere by our standards."
Of course, the magazine could have changed their mind on the hiring or reprimanded Ioffe in some capacity. But that would be, you know, the responsible thing to do.
When adding it all up: Ioffe's sends a tweet like she did. She initially tries to defend it before being swept up with alleged regret a few hours later. Yes, she eventually apologizes. But with apologies comes accountability.
For Ioffe, she essentially loses nothing in terms of her future employer that is thrilled to have her.
Bad behavior rewarded again.
The reaction is about what one would expect, except it isn't.
New Yorker magazine's Amy Davidson:
The Atlantic is very lucky to be getting @juliaioffe.— Amy Davidson (@tnyCloseRead) December 15, 2016
CNN's Kirsten Powers:
People need to lay off @juliaioffe. She apologized, but of course Twiitter wants her burned at the stake. She's a great journo. Period.— Kirsten Powers (@KirstenPowers) December 15, 2016
And the Washington Post's Dave Wiegel doubles down:
If you're Glenn Thrush, another soon-to-be-former Politico reporter, you can get caught red-handed (via WikiLeaks) sharing not one but two stories in advance with the Clinton campaign. Thrush doesn't even apologize and attacks those who dared to criticize him.
Politico, because Thrush is a bigger fish in their pond, doesn't reprimand him in any capacity, and even defends the practice.
And last week, The New York Times announces that he'll be joining their team to cover the Trump White House.
This is what we've become in today's media.
Phony or no contrition.
No accountability from management.
And big rewards to those who act irresponsibly.
It would be hilarious if it was less nauseating.
Joe Concha is a media reporter for The Hill.
The views of Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.