A member of The Washington Post’s congressional team tweeted — and then later deleted — a photo of several Post reporters celebrating “Merry Impeachmas” on Wednesday evening after House Democrats voted to impeach President Trump.
Rachael Bade accompanied a photo of herself, Karoun Demirjian, Paul Kane, Seung Min Kim and Mike DeBonis smiling around a restaurant table with “Merry Impeachmas from the WaPo team! @pkcapitol is buying.”
Merry Impeachmas from the WaPo team! @pkcapitol is buying … w/@karoun @seungminkim @mikedebonis pic.twitter.com/empd3Z4bfX— Rachael Bade (@rachaelmbade) December 19, 2019
While it’s unremarkable for people to go out to dinner or drinks after a long or stressful day at work — which Wednesday definitely was for political reporters in Washington — the use of a progressive taunt term celebrating Mr. Trump’s impeachment drew the ire of the Trump reelection campaign.
“Ladies & gentlemen, your fair and objective press corps in action! What a joke,” wrote Brad Parscale, the campaign manager for the 2020 reelection team.
“Media needs to stop acting like they are ‘impartial,’” he concluded.
Ladies & gentlemen, your fair and objective press corps in action! What a joke.— Brad Parscale (@parscale) December 19, 2019
Media needs to stop acting like they are “impartial”. https://t.co/F89tPhbRZT
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham added: “Fair & balanced journalism everyone. Democracy dies over chips & guac.”
Fair & balanced journalism everyone. Democracy dies over chips & guac. https://t.co/VVWrk07kau— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) December 19, 2019
After several news organizations, including The Washington Times, reported on the tweet, Ms. Bade deleted it, saying “Merry Impeachmas” was being “misinterpreted.”
“I’m deleting a tweeting tonight that is being misinterpreted by some as an endorsement of some kind. To be absolutely clear, we at the Post are merely glad we are getting a break for the holidays after a long 3 months. I will retweet the group photo w/ a better caption!” she wrote in a follow up tweet.
Twitter users weren’t buying that explanation, and several posted screenshots of the original tweet.
“This is #ImpeachmentDay not April Fools,” wrote Mark Dice and a user named “Backwards Deplorable” added “’Misinterpreted by some’ = Ratio.”
The White House also mocked The Post reporter’s walkback, noting that it immediately produced lockstep defenses from other media sources, specifically noting one left-wing watchdog group.
“And on cue some reporters will circle the wagons & defend their colleagues at all costs. Calling out reporters for inappropriate behavior is labeled (by the media) an attack on the free press. Reporters claim they ‘hold the powerful accountable.’ But who holds them accountable?” Ms. Grisham asked rhetorically.
• Victor Morton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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