AP Claps Back At Fired Anti-Israel Reporter Who Claims She Was ‘Cancel Culture’ Victim: Journalists ‘Cannot Take Sides’
Chan Long Hei / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

The Associated Press clapped back at an “anti-Israel activist” reporter that it fired last week, saying that reporters could not openly take sides on issues, which would take away from the outlet’s ability to report based on “fairness and credibility.”

The AP fired Emily Wilder last week after old social media posts from the activist went viral. In those posts, she made controversial remarks about a prominent Jew and Israel.

The Daily Wire reported:

A spokeswoman for the AP told the Washington Free Beacon that it “requires employees to abstain from political activity.” Three days before her termination, Wilder said that “objectivity” felt “fickle” with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  

“‘Objectivity’ feels fickle when the basic terms we use to report news implicitly stake a claim,” Wilder tweeted. “Using ‘israel’ but never ‘palestine,’ or ‘war’ but not ‘seige and occupation’ are political choices — yet media make those exact choices all the time without being flagged as bias.” 

On May 19, Wilder was fired for violating the company’s media policy “during her time at AP.” 

Wilder responded by portraying herself as a victim of “a smear campaign” — which relied on using statements that she made — and bemoaning “powerful conservatives” that called her out online.

Wilder wrote in part:

When I asked my managers which exact tweets were in violation of policy or how, they refused to tell me. In the end, rather than take whatever misstep I made as a teaching opportunity – as is the point of the news associate program – it appears they took it as an opportunity to make me a scapegoat.

This is heartbreaking as a young journalist so hungry to learn from the fearless investigative reporting of AP journalists – and do that reporting myself. It’s terrifying as a young woman who was hung out to dry when I needed support from my institution most. And it’s enraging as a Jewish person – who grew up in a Jewish community, attended Orthodox schooling and devoted my college years to studying Palestine and Israel – that I could be defamed as anti-Semitic and thrown under the bus in the process.

I am one victim to the asymmetrical enforcement of rules around objectivity and social media that has censored so many journalists – particularly Palestinian journalists and other journalists of color – before me. The compassion that drove my activism is part of what led me to be a reporter committed to just, critical, fact-based coverage of under-told stories. Now, after being fired after less than three weeks at my job, I have to ask what kind of message this sends to young people who are hoping to channel righteous indignation or passion for justice into impactful storytelling. What future does it promise to aspiring reporters that an institution like The Associated Press would sacrifice those with the least power to the cruel trolling of a group of anonymous bullies? What does it mean for this industry that even sharing the painful experiences of Palestinians or interrogating the language we use to describe them can be seen as irredeemably “biased?”

Wilder concluded by claiming that she would not be “intimidated into silence” and that she would be back soon.

The Associated Press responded to Wilder’s statement with their own statement:

Though The Associated Press generally refrains from commenting on personnel matters, we can confirm Emily Wilder’s comments on Thursday that she was dismissed for violations of AP’s social media policy during her time at AP.

We have this policy so the comments of one person cannot create dangerous conditions for our journalists covering the story. Every AP journalist is responsible for safeguarding our ability to report on this conflict, or any other, with fairness and credibility, and cannot take sides in public forums.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  AP Claps Back At Fired Anti-Israel Reporter Who Claims She Was ‘Cancel Culture’ Victim: Journalists ‘Cannot Take Sides’