Journalist Inundated With Antisemitic Vitriol After Publishing Profile of Melania Trump

Julia Ioffe, the journalist who profiled Melania Trump for GQ Magazine, didn’t see anything particularly enraging in the article she wrote. “This is not a heavily critical article. There is nothing in it that is untrue,” Ioffe told the Guardian Thursday night.

But that didn’t stop the wife of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump from blaming Ioffe for painting her in a less-than-glamorous light.

"The article published in GQ today is yet another example of the dishonest media and their disingenuous reporting,” Melania Trump wrote on Facebook Wednesday, shortly after the article’s publication. “Julia Ioffe, a journalist who is looking to make a name for herself, clearly had an agenda when going after my family.”

And that’s when it began. Trump supporters sent Ioffe a deluge of vicious anti-Semitic attacks on social media, some going as far as to call her cell phone and leave threatening voicemails. On Twitter, Ioffe began reposting some of the more, er, creative attacks sent to her by Trump supporters: a photo of a concentration camp prisoner superimposed with her head; fake movie posters reading “Back to the Oven”; and a cartoon caricature of a Jewish man getting shot in the head.

“At least they're fluent in 80s pop culture?” Ioffe joked on one of the posts.

But for the journalist, who was a child when she and her parents fled Russia 26 years ago because of antisemitism, “it’s been a rude shock for everyone.”

“It’s unsettling,” Ioffe said. “I started the day off having a sense of humor about it but by the end of the day, after a few phone calls like this, with people playing Hitler speeches, and the imagery, and people telling me my face would look good on a lampshade, it’s hard to laugh.”

Ioffe, who said the attacks were “horrible antisemitic shit” she’s “only ever seen in Russia,” wonders what’s in store for journalists if Donald Trump is elected president.

“We’ve seen the way he bids his supporters to attack the media, his proposal to change libel laws to make it easier to sue journalists,” Ioffe said. “If this is how Trump supporters swing into action, what happens when the press looks into corrupt dealings, for example, or is critical of his policies?”


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