Any reporter covering presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump knows they risk wading into the cesspool that is his online fanbase. Being trolled by members of the Make America Great Again team is just another part of the job description of a political reporter in 2016.
But his recent promotion, and subsequent defense, of an anti-Semitic image has underscored the particular kind of harassment that Jewish journalists ? and non-Jews who happen to have vaguely Jewish-sounding names ? have faced. He may deny that the image, which featured Hillary Clinton’s face next to a Star of David and a pile of money, had anti-Semitic undertones, but behavior from some of his supporters seems to suggest otherwise. The Twitter feed that Trump social media editor Dan Scavino sourced the graphic from had previously posted pictures of swastikas and other racist imagery.
In May, HuffPost Senior Editor Sam Stein was told, “I hope someone throws you in a wood-chipper feet first. You lying propaganda spreading liberal jewish sack of shit.”
One person replied to foreign affairs reporter Jessica Schulberg’s story on Trump’s neo-Nazi fans by saying:
If you are going to attack Nazis, at least state their position clearly. If Holocaust Denial is so “abhorrent” why don’t you state the facts that these people trumpet? Oh, because then people would wake up to your Jewish lies.
Reporters outside of HuffPost have also experienced this kind of rampant anti-Semitism. After writer Julia Ioffe profiled Trump’s wife Melania for GQ, she received threats of physical violence, as well as phone calls from someone playing Adolf Hitler speeches and images of her face photoshopped onto Holocaust victims.
Ioffe filed a police report on the abuse. After receiving death threats to her personal Facebook account from Trump supporters, Forward’s Bethany Mandel bought a gun.