The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion New York Times staffer tweets out op-ed critical of Trump, faces anti-Semitic avalanche

Last night, Jonathan Weisman tweeted out an opinion piece from The Post by Robert Kagan: “This is how fascism comes to America.” Via Trump, that is. “This is how fascism comes to America, not with jackboots and salutes (although there have been salutes, and a whiff of violence) but with a television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac ‘tapping into’ popular resentments and insecurities, and with an entire national political party — out of ambition or blind party loyalty, or simply out of fear — falling into line behind him,” writes Kagan.

A deputy Washington editor at the Times, Weisman included a portion of that sentence in his tweet — along with another tweet on a related topic — and let it fly. Hatred responded.

Unaware of what was being expressed in that tweet, Weisman responded:

And CyberTrump obliged:

Weisman documented what happened next, and here is just a sampling:

For more, follow Weisman himself.

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The Southern Poverty Law Center, among many other Twitter observers, took note of Weisman’s efforts to highlight this scourge:

On Twitter and other social-media platforms, it can be difficult to determine who supports whom. Yes, several of the people making anti-Semitic statements had references to the presumptive GOP nominee in their Twitter IDs and photos, though those references could mean anything. What has been clear for some time is that criticizing Trump while being Jewish is a hazardous online activity. On Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro, a prominent conservative commentator, documented the anti-Semitic backlash that followed his own opinionating about Trump. And cited more from where that came:

It’s not just me, of course. Jake Tapper of CNN now says he’s received anti-Semitic tweets “all day.” My friend Bethany Mandel, another orthodox Jew who opposes Trump, just bought herself a gun out of fear of unhinged Trump supporters. John Podhoretz of Commentary says he receives tweets consistently from “literally neo-Nazi White supremacists, all anonymous…I don’t think I can attribute being a supporter of Trump to being a validator or an expresser of these opinions, but something was let loose by him.” Noah Rothman of Commentary tweets, “It never ends. Blocking doesn’t help either. They have lists, on which I seem to find myself.”

Shapiro Wednesday offered a further exploration at National Review under the headline, “Trump’s Anti-Semitic Supporters.” He writes: “I’ve experienced more pure, unadulterated anti-Semitism since coming out against Trump’s candidacy than at any other time in my political career. Trump supporters have threatened me and other Jews who hold my viewpoint. They’ve blown up my e-mail inbox with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. They greeted the birth of my second child by calling for me, my wife, and two children to be thrown into a gas chamber.”

As this blog reported, journalist Julia Ioffe filed a police report after receiving anti-Semitic threats stemming from the backlash against her story in GQ about Melania Trump. “The Trumps have a record of kind of whistling their followers into action,” Ioffe said at the time.