ICE Spent Your Tax Dollars Dragging A Journalist Through The Internet Sewer Over A Mistake She Apologized For

from the fine-people dept

Law enforcement officers protect their own. Even when they shouldn't. They are quick to react when one of them is slighted and they do so knowing their position as arbiters of law affords them more protection against internet randos than the little people they're supposed to be serving.

But something that gets lost in these far-too-common reactions is that this is how taxpayers' money is being spent: on vindictive actions that could have been handled with a 30-second statement or a press release that might take all of 20 minutes to compose.

But instead of letting things go and realizing their position of power is probably all the response that's needed, tax dollars are spent converting hurt feelings into investigations of private citizens who managed to offend the powers that be. Ken Klippenstein has obtained documents from a FOIA request (and the de rigueur FOIA lawsuit) that shows ICE decided to get all investigatory when someone mistook a tattoo on one of its officials for a racist symbol. That this person was a journalist makes it all that more problematic.

In June of 2018, Talia Lavin, then a fact-checker for The New Yorker, found herself in an unusual position for a journalist: She personally became the target of a government agency. She had come under the scrutiny of ICE’s Office of Public Affairs, the public face of the agency that played a central role in President Trump’s crackdown on undocumented migrants.

[...]

When Lavin saw a tweet from ICE featuring one of its officials, Justin Gaertner, with a cross-shaped tattoo, she wondered if it was the Iron Cross familiar to Nazi iconography. She posted a tweet comparing them. When people began pointing out that it could be another symbol, like a Maltese cross, Lavin promptly removed the tweet. But it was already too late.

ICE first responded with a press release. It was not your normal press release. It accused Lavin (mentioning her name [but misspelled as "Levin") of "baselessly slandering" the "American hero" who worked for the agency. It demanded an apology and a retraction from Lavin and The New Yorker. Following ICE's public flogging of Lavin, she became a target for vitriol and abuse by white supremacists and alt-right figureheads. Fox News called her a "little journo terrorist."

Eye for an eye and all that, I guess. You'd think ICE would have been satisfied with the shitstorm it had stirred up. It provoked a response and got some of what it wanted. Lavin not only apologized but she resigned from The New Yorker.

ICE's main focus -- according to the documents obtained by Klippenstein -- was securing the future of the official pointed out in Lavin's since-deleted tweet. The Public Affairs office began burnishing the official's war record and claimed to have evidence of credible threats to the official's life. But the only "threat" detailed in email threads was one from someone responding to Lavin's tweet, stating that the person wished whoever had wounded the official in combat "would've finished the job." Cue a whole bunch of government gears, all grinding tax dollars into salve for skin-deep scratches.

“HSI Tampa will be carefully assessing the twitter based threats and will take appropriate action,” an HSI official replied. “Looping in AD [Assistant Director] Ip for C3 [ICE Cyber Crimes Center] support. HSI Tampa will be submitting a SIR [Significant Incident Report] shortly.”

More remarkably, the email communications indicate ICE may never have seen Lavin's tweet before it was deleted. ICE's press office -- for all the time it spent making sure its official remained unslighted -- didn't bother preserving the tweet it found so offensive that it issued a press release decrying the person who had published it.

One tweet by a journalist containing one innocent mistake (it's no secret white supremacists are drawn to law enforcement positions) led to multiple DHS agencies being apprised of non-credible threats while ICE's public affairs office decided it was in the best interest of the public to publicly attack a journalist for screwing up. It got what it wanted -- a retraction, an apology, and a resignation -- but at what cost?

Certainly ICE took a hit to its credibility. It may have been correct about the innocuous nature of the tattoo, but it made its point by turning a journalist into a target for internet pitchforks. This is called "punching down." It could have issued a statement in support of the official and left it at that, but instead, it felt compelled to turn this into a public flogging and an internal investigation handled so sloppily the multi-billion dollar agency couldn't even search the Wayback Machine for the tweet prompting its deluge of unprofessional behavior.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: dhs, foia, hsi, ice, intimidation, investigation, journalism, justin gaertner, talia lavin, the new yorker


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2020 @ 4:28pm

    The left is the only one allowed to spread vitriol and abuse.

    "Following ICE's public flogging of Lavin, she became a target for vitriol and abuse by white supremacists and alt-right figureheads."

    Just like the left is doing over and over for anyone who is found to support the right. Bigotry is the real problem no matter what its source. This nation is doomed to be split into pieces unless both sides stop supporting hate and division.

    After the election happens, the losing side is going to literally destroy the whole system to try to get their way. I honestly don't care which side loses, but I can already tell you which one will win the next one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 5:58pm

      Just like the left is doing over and over for anyone who is found to support the right.

      I can’t imagine why anyone would demonize voters who support the potential reversals of Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges, tax breaks for the ultra-rich, destroying the Affordable Care Act with no replacement plan in place, the effective elimination of public schools, rolling back every effort made so far to combat global climate change, and…well, basically every plank of the Republican platform that prioritizes conservative evangelical Christian ideology and a “fuck you got mine” rich-people-first mindset over a pluralistic secular worldview that prioritizes both the common good of all Americans and the needs of those most in need of help~. Nope, can’t understand why anyone would demonize people who genuinely believe in “destroy the world if it means all the people I hate will be destroyed too” at all~.

      the losing side is going to literally destroy the whole system to try to get their way

      I haven’t seen a single Democrat saying they plan to contest the results of the election. I haven’t heard of Democrats planning to contest mail-in ballots in all 50 states. I haven’t heard the Democratic candidate for president say he will refuse to accept the results of the election. And I haven’t seem Democrats rushing to name a Supreme Court justice to the bench so the court will have a majority that would seem amenable to their politics.

      But I have heard all that shit about Republicans.

      With Republicans/conservatives, “every accusation, a confession” holds more true every day. And Donald Trump doesn’t make it any easier for them to escape that trap.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 6:24pm

        Liberté, égalité, fraternité!

        Radical leftists regard the Democratic party as center right. I only expect Biden to return us to Obama-era normality (if that) with which I had plenty of problems (and TechDirt never ran out of material with which to criticize the administration).

        The federal government has little left that is actually public serving, so it only makes sense to start looking to dismantling it, or for states to regard any promised federal support as unreliable.

        In a Biden era, the revolution / civil war / upheaval will be slower to start than it would in a second Trump term, but the police are still murdering civilians at a distressful rate, and robbing the people of billions of dollars. We're still stuffing our private prisons faster than any other nation, sparing no attention toward the spread of COVID-19 between our inmates. We may not be done burning down precincts, civic buildings and shopping centers after all.

        We'll see what happens in Biden's first hundred days. We'll see what happens once the Supreme Court goes after Roe and Obergefell. More interestingly, we'll see what happens when corporations become more equal persons than human beings, since I suspect that's a large part of the Federalist Society agenda.

        It also defines the differences in the sides being taken: The far right wants to purge people. The far left wants to purge institutions.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 6:34pm

          (Frankly, there's a few institutions that could stand to be purged. Hi there, Department of Homeland Security and ICE.)

          Regarding the “Biden will return us to Obama-era politics” notion: Honestly, after four years of Trump, I’d welcome that. At least with Obama, we didn’t have to worry about him possibly starting a nuclear war through Twitter or fucking up a pandemic response to the tune of over 200,000 deaths (and counting). Boring-ass Biden being boring-ass President Biden would be a nice change of pace from Trump being the near-literal manifestation of Republican ideology and acting on every impulse regardless of the damage that causes.

          I don’t think we’ll see real progressive change in a Biden presidency. He has too much bleeding to stop if he wins. But I’d much prefer a “stop the bleeding” presidency over another four years of this “everyone should pray for the bleeding to stop while I keep stabbing at this open wound” presidency.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Oct 2020 @ 6:09am

          Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité!

          A few comments for the sake of proportion;

          "...but the police are still murdering civilians at a distressful rate..."

          "Stressful"? There are countries where the amount of murders by actual criminals per capita are less than the amount of killings by police in the US.
          That means the US amount of police killings per capita is three orders of magnitude higher than in the rest of the G20. The US is, as far as law enforcement goes, in the same standard as war-riven third world hellholes.

          "We're still stuffing our private prisons faster than any other nation..."

          Fun fact; The US tops the list of prisoner population per capita, with margin to spare. If international estimates of chinese detainees are anywhere near correct the US has twice as high a proportion of its population in jail compared to China.
          Usually over reasons every bit as trivial.

          "We may not be done burning down precincts, civic buildings and shopping centers after all."

          I'm inclined to say that the one reason the US isn't already in a civil war is because no one wants a gerrymandered battlefield.

          "It also defines the differences in the sides being taken: The far right wants to purge people. The far left wants to purge institutions."

          ...wait, the US has a far left? Last I checked the US version of "radical left" was a mild-mannered clone of Germany's Angela Merkel.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 4:35pm

    Dangerous Accusations

    At a time when people proclaim to take the law into their own hands and "see a nazi punch a nazi", being falsely accused of being a nazi is among the most unforgivable slanders imaginable. Deleting a tweet isn't sufficient when a hate mob is chasing you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 4:39pm

      Re: Dangerous Accusations

      She found that out. They did deep dives into her life, focused people on attacking her, and got her to quit her job.
      Seems like the mob won.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 4:39pm

      Re: Dangerous Accusations

      Why are you so bad at this Koby?

      At a time when people proclaim to take the law into their own hands and "see a nazi punch a nazi",

      Can you name more than once that this has actually happened?

      being falsely accused of being a nazi is among the most unforgivable slanders imaginable

      Nah, dude. Not even fucking close. And the fact that you think this is "the most unforgivable slander imaginable" shows how totally out of touch with reality you are. (1) It's not "slander" (learn what that means). (2) It's not "unforgivable". (3) It's not even a big deal.

      Deleting a tweet isn't sufficient when a hate mob is chasing you.

      Where is the hate mob chasing this ICE official?

      I mean, fucking seriously, Koby. What the fuck is wrong with you?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 5:39pm

        Can you name more than once that this has actually happened?

        I can think of two:

        1. Richard Spencer got clocked in the face and driven to tears as a result. Personally, I’m a fan of the “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” version.

        2. Some dumbfuck Nazi in Seattle got knocked the hell out because he thought wearing a swastika in public was a good idea.

        If anyone else has any more examples, preferably with video footage, by all means — link me to them. 😁

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 6:09pm

          Examples of nazi punching.

          I had to cite Spencer for want of a less overused example, which is to say I looked. But not too hard; I didn't find the Seattle guy.

          I'd think getting punched by a stranger for representing would be badgeworthy, kinda like German fencers wanting their dueling scar.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2020 @ 6:29pm

            Re: Examples of nazi punching.

            I'd think getting punched by a stranger for representing would be badgeworthy, ....

            I first read this in the context of "have someone with a badge arrest this dick". Alas, not so much.

            And you're right, though. "Punching a nazi" is feeding a troll.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 6:38pm

            I'd think getting punched by a stranger for representing would be badgeworthy

            And yet, it was that one punch — and Spencer’s immediate reaction to it — that all but ended his time in the spotlight as the “dapper White nationalist”.

            I hope whoever landed that punch takes their secret to the grave.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Oct 2020 @ 7:52am

            Re: Examples of nazi punching.

            "I'd think getting punched by a stranger for representing would be badgeworthy, kinda like German fencers wanting their dueling scar."

            Pretty obvious the swastika-waving US neo-nazis aren't exactly Prussian nobility. They get in any scrap where bullying won't help them, they whimper like small children. Hell, they don't even have the chutzpah to admit to their own beliefs unless they're in a crowd of a hundred.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 13 Oct 2020 @ 12:23am

              Re: Re: Examples of nazi punching.

              "They get in any scrap where bullying won't help them, they whimper like small children"

              Sadly, there's been multiple examples recently of them starting fights, then resorting to deadly violence when someone talks back to them.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Oct 2020 @ 7:52am

                Re: Re: Re: Examples of nazi punching.

                "Sadly, there's been multiple examples recently of them starting fights, then resorting to deadly violence when someone talks back to them."

                When outgunning and outnumbering the opposition, or when in a large enough crowd for their collective sense of courage to rear it's head.

                Sure, there are sluggers mainly in it because busting heads makes them feel good and the white power tribe gives them plenty of opportunity to do that...but more often than not that just isn't the case.

                Witness the vast amount of black people and liberals marching unarmed every time a large enough spate of social injustice hits. And doing this even while there is real danger the police will march in with deadly force.
                I invite you to show a similar eagerness among the white power crowd to take their cause to the streets when there's real cause to fear police intervention. Not, frankly speaking, happening.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 6:27pm

          Re:

          I'm generally a fan of non-violence unless there's no other reasonable option but I find it hard to muster any sympathy when the person getting punched intentionally and knowingly self-identifies with a group known primarily for genocide, and the only reason I'm iffy on the matter relates to a Matt Dillahunty quote which roughly goes 'If it would be a smart idea for a nazi to pay someone to punch them then it's stupid for someone to do it for free'.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 6:36pm

            I have absolutely zero sympathy for Nazis, White nationalists, and their racist ilk. If they get KO’d, they get KO’d.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 8:36pm

              Re:

              Oh I'm not saying I have any sympathy for them, I most certainly do not as losers like that are scum of the lowest order, the point simply is that someone punching them allows them to play the 'poor little victim who was punched even though they were just talking' card for gullible fools, such that someone punching them might be satisfying in the short term for the punch thrower and/or those watching but potentially a tactical error long term.

              Take that out of the equation and I'd have no problem indifferently shrugging if not laughing as goons like that find out what it's like to be on the receiving end of the persecution and violence they love to inflict on others in a perfectly fitting 'turnabout is fair play'/'and this is why that mindset of yours isn't a good idea' sense.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 6:30pm

        Re: Re: Dangerous Accusations

        (1) It's not "slander" (learn what that means). (2) It's not "unforgivable". (3) It's not even a big deal.

        Especially these days. 'Oh you're a nazi? Trump rally's that way.'

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Jerry Attric, 8 Oct 2020 @ 8:59pm

        So much WRONG just in headline!

        A ) ICE Spent Your Tax Dollars

        Oh, pooh. The actual cost was exactly what, DOCTOR Economist? -- You can't say. Insignificant in the overall. Just trite phrase a lying hack used to try for Populist appeal. -- People are on salary and happy to defend the borders and the org. Worthwhile in my and I bet majority view. You kids believe your rabid views are the only possible.

        B) A Journalist

        Nope. You state "fact-checker".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Jerry Attric, 8 Oct 2020 @ 8:59pm

          Re: So much WRONG just in headline!

          C) Dragging ... Through The Internet Sewer

          Figurative excess. She only tried to smear a person with serious charge. Has he and ICE no right to not be smeared? -- Being able to smear people with baseless charges is one of your big overt wishes. It's why you were sued for defamation, remember that? -- Other people have Rights too, you low-level lily-white Ivy League sociopath.

          D) Over A Mistake

          YOU ASSERT. It's clear she was looking for a "gotcha", and didn't bother to do her job to CHECK a FACT.

          E) She Apologized For

          After caught trying to gin up controversy with false assertion, again, when her JOB was specifically to get FACTS right! -- Evidently an "Equal Oppportunity" hire.

          Your only aim in defending this mere fact-checker is to attack ICE. You and fanboys believe that ICE shouldn't exist at all! Except maybe to HELP third-worlders come in unlimited numbers and show them how to feast on largesse of the American taxpayer whom you're supposedly concerned for in headline. -- How about the waste of tax dollars from caring for people who start by violating our LAWS, DOCTOR Economist? Justify it, you're so smart.

          By the way, this "Koby" whom you frequently comment at is so ineffectual that looks like more of your astro-turfing.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 9:50pm

            Oh my.

            Jerry Attric do you work for ICE? I get that it's a common thing for Trump supporters to dismiss criticism of Trump as Orange Man Bad but ICE now has an extensive history of human atrocity and miscarriages of justice, which you would know with only a modicum of research.

            We're familiar with it here on TechDirt because ICE has kinda become part of their beat since the Dotcom raid.

            So your this rant based off ignorance or willful stupidity? I can't tell.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2020 @ 9:02am

            Re: Re: So much WRONG just in headline!

            After caught trying to gin up controversy with false assertion, again, when her JOB was specifically to get FACTS right! -- Evidently an "Equal Oppportunity" hire.

            If only we held law enforcement to the same standard of having to know their fucking job, or else they should be shit canned and publicly shamed...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 9 Oct 2020 @ 9:21am

            Re: Re: So much WRONG just in headline!

            C) Dragging ... Through The Internet Sewer

            Figurative excess. She only tried to smear a person with serious charge.

            And the retribution was (at least arguably) disproportionate to that offense.

            Has he and ICE no right to not be smeared? -- Being able to smear people with baseless charges is one of your big overt wishes.

            Take it up with the Supreme Court.

            It's why you were sued for defamation, remember that?

            Umm, Techdirt won that case, remember?

            D) Over A Mistake

            YOU ASSERT. It's clear she was looking for a "gotcha", and didn't bother to do her job to CHECK a FACT.

            Umm, even if you’re right, that still qualifies as a “mistake” as asserted.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2020 @ 11:06pm

            Re: Re:

            By the way, this "Koby" whom you frequently comment at is so ineffectual that looks like more of your astro-turfing

            ...Wow. When your commentary is so shitty even out_of_the_blue can't stand you... that's gotta sting!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Oct 2020 @ 7:57am

              Re: Re: Re:

              "When your commentary is so shitty even out_of_the_blue can't stand you... that's gotta sting!"

              Well, it's the self-destructive nature of bigots and racists. The few convinced ones trying to argue with the sane people draw the ire of the frothing-at-the-mouth crowd and the ridicule of the saner people alike.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 11:52pm

        Re: Re: Dangerous Accusations

        "Can you name more than once that this has actually happened?"

        There was a lot of support after Richard Spencer got his Nazi face punched, and the call to do it again was a popular meme for a while, but I can't think of an incident where it happened again without direct provocation.

        But, this stuff really does reveal Koby's interests - calling for the extermination of the Jews and removal of all non-whites from the US? Fine. Punching a fascist calling for direct violence against you and your family? Evil.

        "Where is the hate mob chasing this ICE official?"

        The one in his mind. Presumably this is why he's so dead set on lying about section 230 - his Nazi friends might get punched by the same phantoms chasing their fascist enforcement arm!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2020 @ 4:57pm

      Re: Dangerous Accusations

      Deleting a tweet isn't sufficient when a hate mob is chasing you.

      Maybe that's why she apologized and resigned from her position. What more do you think she should have done?

      Seriously WTHFH is wrong with you dude?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2020 @ 6:51pm

        Re: Re: Dangerous Accusations

        > Deleting a tweet isn't sufficient when a hate mob is chasing you.
        Seriously WTHFH is wrong with you dude?

        Alas, as with many of Koby's points, this one makes sense in isolation:

        I think we can all agree (even Koby!) that the journalist has done what is humanly possible. And most people will be satisfied. ... if they pay attention long enough. And someone, inevitably, isn't going to get the memo. It's the nature of a mob. someone somewhere is still not going to be satisfied, because they personally didn't get to spin out their droplet of vitriol. Or they'll reignite a flame war just to see something burn.

        Nor yet are the hateful words going to magically vanish. This is likely to haunt Ms Lavin for years, especially if someone is itching for an excuse (or a fight).

        To me, Koby's sentence reads more usefully as an indictment of the mob, than as one of the reporter. Too bad he didn't say that more clearly.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 6:07pm

      Re: Dangerous Accusations

      Yes, of people listed in the story it was definitely that poor ICE agent that got it the worst from the mob...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 11:48pm

      Re: Dangerous Accusations

      "being falsely accused of being a nazi is among the most unforgivable slanders imaginable"

      Good thing you've never been falsely accused of that, huh?

      "Deleting a tweet isn't sufficient when a hate mob is chasing you."

      Yet, you were on here yesterday whining about oppression because Trump had his account temporarily suspended in order for him to remove the doxxing information he tweeted against a journalist he disagreed with.

      Double standards are fun, huh?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Oct 2020 @ 6:18am

      Re: Dangerous Accusations

      "...being falsely accused of being a nazi is among the most unforgivable slanders imaginable."

      It sure is. The one good thing about 2020 is that very few people are falsely accused of being nazis.
      Except possibly the Very Fine People and Proud Boys of the confederacy who might rightly take exception to being compared to german-inspired greenhorn copycats.

      "Deleting a tweet isn't sufficient when a hate mob is chasing you."

      Of course not. If you spend hours lying through your teeth about Obama being a non-american muslim fundie and George Floyd somehow not being murdered on camera then no shit there will be a hate mob. Free speech, after all, has consequences.

      Let me know when a liberal can walk into a KKK gathering and recite a martin luther king speech without finding an even worse hate mob - one intent on physical harm rather than unkind words and we can start comparing how thin the alt-right skin is.

      A lot of people have said this before, Koby - that people choose to walk away or show you the door when you start talking about the supremacy of the white race might be sufficient for you to start pouting, but certainly isn't the persecution of a hate mob you think it is. Grow some fucking skin, snowflake. Free speech actually does mean people are allowed to dislike what you have to say.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 9 Oct 2020 @ 7:08am

        Re: Re: Dangerous Accusations

        "Free speech actually does mean people are allowed to dislike what you have to say."

        More importantly, it means that after you've exercised your free speech, others can then exercise their own free speech to tell you that they dislike what you said. Koby is typical of the thin-skinned cowards on the right, in that they want unlimited freedom for themselves, but wish to remove everyone else's right to retort.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2020 @ 4:49pm

    Lavin not only apologized but she resigned from The New Yorker.

    Damn leftist cancel culture..... oh wait, what?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2020 @ 4:51pm

    "Hey, is this a Nazi symbol or what?"

    "Nah, that's probably something else."

    "Ah, OK." /deletes tweet.

    Burn the wiiiitch! Burrrrn herrrrr!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous, 8 Oct 2020 @ 5:04pm

    Talia Lavin paid the price for her poor journalism

    She could have taken 30 seconds to do a Google image search. Instead she posted her comment with the expectation that others would harass the guy. She didn’t care if she destroyed the guy’s life.

    Somehow I doubt that anyone on this site would have defended the guy if he had actually been a neo-nazi and had been harassed out of his job. She was a poor journalist and got what she deserved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 5:07pm

      Re: Talia Lavin paid the price for her poor journalism

      Talia Lavin paid the price for her poor journalism

      Why do I get the feeling that you're the type of person who whines about "cancel culture"?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous, 8 Oct 2020 @ 5:17pm

        Re: Re: Talia Lavin paid the price for her poor journalism

        I don’t care about cancel culture. I do care about people doing their jobs right.

        If you are a cop, you should do your job and uphold the law fairly. There should be no issues with filming cops or cops carrying body cams. If you can’t do that without violating someone’s civil rights you don’t need to be a cop.

        If you are a journalist you have the responsibility to get the facts right and not rush things. The pen is mightier than the sword, and can do a lot of damage if wielded carelessly. If you can’t report the truth right then maybe you should choose another profession.

        She had the right to post whatever she wanted. There is no right to avoid the consequences of bad decisions.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 5:41pm

          I do care about people doing their jobs right.

          There is no right to avoid the consequences of bad decisions.

          She literally resigned from her job. What other consequences do you think she deserved to face, a fucking firing squad?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 10:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Talia Lavin paid the price for her poor journalism

          She had the right to post whatever she wanted. There is no right to avoid the consequences of bad decisions.

          There fucking well IS when the "consequences" are the US GOVERNMENT investigating her for 1st amendment protected speech.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2020 @ 9:05am

      Re: Talia Lavin paid the price for her poor journalism

      If we only held dumbfuck cops to that same standard of "having to know what they're fucking doing or else they should be shit canned and publicly shamed" there wouldn't be protests happening around the country.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 8 Oct 2020 @ 5:24pm

    Certainly ICE took a hit to its credibility. It may have been correct about the innocuous nature of the tattoo, but it made its point by turning a journalist into a target for internet pitchforks. This is called "punching down." It could have issued a statement in support of the official and left it at that, but instead, it felt compelled to turn this into a public flogging and an internal investigation handled so sloppily the multi-billion dollar agency couldn't even search the Wayback Machine for the tweet prompting its deluge of unprofessional behavior.

    Issuing a statement and letting it go wouldn't have accomplished the goal of instilling fear of retribution into anyone who would dare to criticize them. You can't have people thinking that it's OK to question authority.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 6:03pm

    "little journo terrorist"

    Once again, the term terrorist is rendered useless by attributing it to someone who, in fact, did not murder civilians for political purposes.

    I suspect, unlike FOX News Ms. Talia Lavin has never even incited murder for political cause. (FOX News definitely has a plausible body count.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 8 Oct 2020 @ 6:21pm

    'I'm not violent!' screamed the person punching someone

    Journalist posts a pic that raises the question of whether the person in the photo has a nazi tattoo. In response, ICE decides to drag her through the mud and a bunch of racist losers(but I repeat myself) harass her to the point that she ends up quitting her job.

    'ICE doesn't employ nazis(that they would admit to), but they sure as hell employ sadistic thugs that will go above and beyond to make your life hell if you dare even think of making them look bad' is not quite the 'improvement' they might have thought it was.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Frank Collins Ghost, 10 Oct 2020 @ 2:41pm

    re: Kenosha

    It seems that getting bashed in the head with a skateboard, and having sex offenders draw pistols on a person doesnt qualify as "punching a Nazi,” but in factitious disordered TD faux-left world, facts arent always facts anyways.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kenosha-protest-shooting-survivor-gaige-grosskreutz-kyle-ritte nhouse/

    Aside: (Techdirt so dropped the ball on the eBay gang stalking story with the “gang” of retired cops stalking the Steiners. Dont say R/O/G/S didnt try to hand it to you aspies first, lol)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 10 Oct 2020 @ 2:57pm

      Re: re: Kenosha

      I think there's a difference between punching a Nazi and assaulting a known murderer, unless Spencer is associated with crimes of which I'm unaware.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Oct 2020 @ 10:47pm

      Re: re: Kenosha

      "It seems that getting bashed in the head with a skateboard... doesnt qualify as "punching a Nazi,"

      No, you're correct - the person who tried using a skateboard to help apprehend Kyle Rittenhouse after he'd been observed murdering someone doesn't qualify as "punching a Nazi".

      Which fantasy world are you in where people were saying it was? Because, as usual, you're not addressing the same reality as everyone else.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2020 @ 6:01pm

    Its not racist if we don't consider them Human Beings - ICE official stance

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 10 Oct 2020 @ 10:05pm

      People as things...

      Mightily Oats: [Sin is] not as simple as that. It's not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of gray.

      Granny Weatherwax: Nope.

      Mightily Oats: Pardon?

      Granny Weatherwax: There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people like things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.

      Mightily Oats: It's a lot more complicated than that--

      Granny Weatherwax: No. It ain't. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they're getting worried that they won't like the truth. People as things, that's where it starts.

      Mightily Oats: Oh, I'm sure there are worse crimes--

      Granny Weatherwax: But they starts with thinking about people as things...

      -- Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 10 Oct 2020 @ 10:14pm

      Re:

      That couldn't be their official stance as admitting it would require honesty on their part, which is clearly well beyond them.

      Unofficial on the other hand...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.