A perpetual candidate for a small-time office in New Jersey told Daily Beast reporter Olivia Nuzzi Monday on Facebook that he hoped she would get raped “by a Syrian refugee.” The candidate, Mike Krawitz, is now claiming he was “hacked” and didn’t make the comments. Krawitz has been commenting on Nuzzi’s Facebook page since 2014, in an escalating series of curiously-punctuated insults.
Nuzzi, a politics reporter for the Beast, keeps her Facebook page public. Therein lies the seed for some truly wild interactions: Nuzzi also regularly appears on TV, and a certain segment of the populace has seemingly come to see her as a pleasant blonde incarnation of the Lying Biased Liberal Media. (Full disclosure: Nuzzi is a friendly acquaintance of your Big Time Small-Time Dicks columnist.)
The most anodyne announcements on Nuzzi’s page, like notes on when she’ll appear on CNN, tend to attract dozens of comments on libtards and why they are bad. There are a lot of pro-Trump memes and links to articles about why Hillary Clinton has secretly had dozens of people murdered. It’s a fascinating look at a slice of the American electorate, or else it’s very, very depressing. I can never quite decide.
Then there’s Mike Krawitz, who has repeatedly and unsuccessfully run for the township committee in his hometown of West Deptford. According to the West Deptford GOP, he’s running again, when he’s not busy sharing pro-Trump memes or Clinton health conspiracies on his own Facebook page. He’s one of Nuzzi’s regular commenters; his comments are eye-catching because they are invariably insulting, with every word punctuated with a period and every sentence ending in a smiley face. It’s very distinctive:
Krawitz has seemingly grown more irate with Nuzzi lately, recently sharing his view that she is a cunt:
Things reached their nadir Monday, when Nuzzi shared a link to a DB story she didn’t write: reporter Brandy Zadrozny did a piece about Donald Trump reportedly making out with his second wife Marla Maples while she was giving birth to their daughter Tiffany. Something about that really set Mike off:
Predictably, a candidate for office—even a laughable one like Krawitz—wishing rape on a reporter attracted dozens of headlines. Krawitz told Philly.com he was “hacked,” though he didn’t specify whether he was hacked every single time he posted something weird on Nuzzi’s page or just this most recent time. He told reporter Jessica Parks he doesn’t even read the Daily Beast because it is “a Democratic organization:”
Reached by phone Monday, Krawitz said he has been an ardent Trump supporter since the 1980s and does post or shares articles on Facebook favoring the Republican presidential candidate. But he denied commenting on Nuzzi’s recent post.
The Daily Beast, he said, “is a Democratic organization, I don’t even follow that stuff. I don’t go on those websites.”
Krawitz suggested his political opponents may have hacked his account.
“Could be anybody in this township or the Democratic party. When you’re running for township committee in Jersey, these people do anything to try to smear you,” he said.
The West Deptford GOP, as Politico reports, tried their own confused version of damage control, saying they believed Krawitz had been hacked on Twitter. The comments were posted on Facebook. Their statement didn’t make a ton of sense either way:
“The executive board of the WDGOP does not condone any repulsive, threatening, or demeaning rhetoric in any social media form or otherwise. We are in the process of contacting Twitter for confirmation that someone hacked his account and posted his facebook thumbnail on the hacked twitter entry.”
Nuzzi responded to the post telling the party they were “spreading misinformation.” Soon after, their entire Facebook page was either deleted or hidden.
This whole ridiculous saga has even made it onto the local TV news: Philadelphia ABC station WPVI, which also covers portions of New Jersey, sent a reporter to Krawitz’s house, where first he was home and then he wasn’t:
Action News went to Krawitz’s home to ask him about the posts.
A woman there told us he was home and went to get him.
“Michael, Dann Cuellar is here,” the woman said before closing the door.
We waited and waited and knocked on the door.
But then the woman returned and said, “He’s not here.”
In a statement to WPVI, Nuzzi said in part that while this is the first time a candidate for office has wished rape upon her, it’s still up to New Jersey voters how they feel about the candidate who wishes rape on people:
I do believe in free speech, and so in my view, it’s up to the Republican Party of West Deptford and the voters to decide if they want this man representing them. I have faith that most voters in New Jersey and around the country disapprove of hateful rhetoric of this nature. As a reporter, bullying of this kind from would-be politicians makes you fear for your First Amendment rights. As an American and a woman, it makes you fear for the state of our country and the safety of half the population that inhabits it.