WaPo Defends Reporter Who Got Hate Online For Asking Murkowski About Tanden Tweet
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) speaks to reporters as she arrives for the continuation of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on January 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. The next phase of the trial, in which senators will be allowed to ask written questions, will extend into tomorrow.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Washington Post defended the conduct of reporter Seung Min Kim on Thursday after she was attacked on social media for asking Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) about an insulting tweet Neera Tanden sent to Murkowski in 2017. 

Tanden, the Biden administration’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, has repeatedly been criticized by lawmakers for partisan statements she has made online. In one 2017 tweet, Tanden accused Murkowski in a tweet of being “high on her own supply.”

After a photo spread online of Seung Min showing Murkowski the tweet and asking for comment in the Capitol, a swarm of Twitter users angrily suggested Seung Min of trying to tank Tanden’s nomination.

“You don’t deserve to be called a journalist,” tweeted one person. “So the media is trying to tank Neera too shocking,” said another. “Seung Min Kim can’t stand it when other Asian women get shine. What a disgrace,” said another Twitter user. 

Seung Kim also posted a screenshot of an email she received, which told her to “go back to China b*tch.”

Washington Post national editor Steven Ginsburg defended Seung Min in a statement Thursday, saying that she had been receiving a barrage of “racist, sexist and ill-informed attacks” for simply doing her job. 

“A picture of Seung Min showing the tweet to Murkowski was posted to Twitter, which led to a flood of racist, sexist and ill-informed attacks aimed at Seung Min,” said Ginsberg. “The racist and sexist attacks have been vicious — and atypical. She and other minority women endure vile, baseless attacks on a daily basis, no matter what story they are working on or tweeting about. The attacks on her journalistic integrity were wildly misguided and a bad-faith effort at intimidation.”

“What she did was basic journalism. In reporting about Tanden’s tweets, she asked Murkowski for comment. Murkowski had not seen the tweet, so Seung Min showed it to her. This is standard practice,” added Ginsberg. “If a subject of a story is not aware of the information they are being asked to comment on, reporters share it with them. This only makes sense and is the fair and responsible thing to do.”

Tanden, who has been critical of both Democrats and Republicans, was repeatedly grilled during committee hearings over her past statements. CNN reported back in December that Tanden has deleted more than 1,000 tweets from over the years, many critical of GOP senators, amid the prospect of a nomination fight. The tweet about Murkowski, however, was not deleted.

Related: Fellow Democrats Suggest Sen. Joe Manchin Is Racist, Sexist For Opposing Biden Pick Neera Tanden

Related: White House Chief Of Staff: Tanden Will Be Confirmed, But We’ll Put Her Somewhere Else If She’s Not

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