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AP Fires Reporter Over Past Anti-Israel Advocacy

Published: (Updated: ) in Jewish News by .

The firing came after the Stanford College Republicans posted a Twitter thread on May 17 calling Wilder an “anti-Israel agitator.”

The post AP Fires Reporter Over Past Anti-Israel Advocacy appeared first on Jewish Journal.

The Associated Press (AP) announced on May 20 that they are letting go of a reporter due to her anti-Israel advocacy social media posts while she was in college.

The firing came after the Stanford College Republicans posted a Twitter thread on May 17 calling Wilder an “anti-Israel agitator” who was a leader in Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace organizations while at Stanford. The thread highlighted past social media posts from Wilder, including calling the late philanthropist Sheldon Adelson a “naked mole rat-looking billionaire” and defending then-Stanford Residential Advisor Hamzeh Daoud, who was under fire over a  Facebook post threatening to “physically fight” Zionists, as having his post “misrepresented” even after it was “immediately edited.” Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) retweeted the thread.

“Emily Wilder has a concerning history of bringing anti-Semites to campus, spouting blood libels, and defending threats of violence against Jewish Zionists,” the Stanford College Republicans said in a statement to the Journal. “This information was in the public domain, and the Associated Press still decided to bring her on. This is not surprising in light of recent revelations that the Associated Press shared office space with Hamas. Emily Wilder is not a journalist, she is an unhinged, Marxist, anti-Israel agitator, and the corporate media is full of hardened Marxist activists like Emily Wilder who hate Israel and spew vitriol.  We are proud that our efforts directly led to this individual and the Associated Press being held accountable for their actions.”

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Wilder defended herself in a lengthy statement posted to Twitter on May 22, arguing that the College Republicans “launched a smear campaign against me.” She claimed that she was “transparent” with the AP about her pro-Palestinian advocacy in college and that she was under the impression that her editors would defend her. Wilder alleges that when the AP fired her, they claimed that one of her tweets from sometime after she was hired on May 3 violated their policies, but didn’t specify which one.

“This is heartbreaking as a young journalist so hungry to learn from the fearless investigative reporting of AP journalists – and do that reporting myself,” Wilder said. “It’s terrifying as a young woman who was hung out to dry when I needed support from my institution the 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 antisemitic and thrown under the bus in the process.”

More than 100 AP staffers published an open letter on May 24 stating that they “strongly disapprove” of Wilder’s firing and the AP’s handling of it and demanded that the AP reveal more information on the decision-making behind Wilder’s firing.

“Wilder was a young journalist, unnecessarily harmed by the AP’s handling and announcement of its firing of her,” they wrote. “We need to know that the AP would stand behind and provide resources to journalists who are the subject of smear campaigns and online harassment.”

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Lauren Easton, a spokesperson for the AP, told Buzzfeed that the AP “looks forward to continuing the conversation with staff about AP’s social media policy” and that “our News Values and Principles, including our social media guidelines, exist to ensure that the comments of one person cannot jeopardize our journalism or the journalists who are covering the story.”

Liora Rez, director of Stop Antisemitism, said in a statement to the Journal, “We wish we could say we’re surprised that the AP hired a reporter that endorsed obscene violence against Zionists, but considering the AP Gaza office operated in the same building as Hamas for years without blinking an eye, we’re shocked more than anything by this firing.”

The leftist Jewish group IfNotNow, on the other hand, tweeted in support of Wilder. “We need more journalists who believe in freedom for Palestinians, not fewer. Solidarity with Emily Wilder.”

Tablet senior writer Yair Rosenberg tweeted concern that “firing journalists over things they wrote as students, without any evidence of bias that’s affected their professional work, won’t make journalism better, it’ll simply make student journalists more afraid to develop their voices and say anything interesting lest they anger a mob.”

Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan, the CEO of Humanity Forward, a nonprofit that aims to connect Muslims and Jews, tweeted in response to Wilder, “This has nothing to do with Palestine but with the fact you’re biased. With my shallow knowledge of press I KNOW Professional Journalists job is to report not write about their passions, if you like to be an activist for Palestinians then BE AN ACTIVIST not a journalist.”

 

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The post AP Fires Reporter Over Past Anti-Israel Advocacy appeared first on Jewish Journal.

Source: Jewish Journal https://jewishjournal.com/news/337012/ap-fires-reporter-over-past-anti-israel-advocacy/

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