Associated Press fires journalist after Stanford College Republicans target her 'pro-Palestinian' activism
The Associated Press (AP) terminated one of its journalists after the Stanford College Republicans (SCR) complained about her past participation in the student activism group, Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
According to Stanford Daily, the controversy surrounding former AP journalist Emily Wilder came amid growing tensions between Israel and Hamas, the militant group overseeing Gaza. Over the last several days, an AP office building was destroyed after Israeli officials claimed the building housed Hamas' military intelligence assets. The AP told Insider it saw "no indication of a Hamas presence in the building"
During a recent interview, Wilder said the AP claimed to have conducted a "''thorough review' of her social media but did not offer any evidence as to what specific social media posts during her tenure as a news associate, which began on May 3, led to her termination." Wilder described her termination as "retrospective" as she insisted she had not "posted anything on social media that she could see warranting her termination."
"I think to me and to many other people, it feels like they folded to the campaign and that they folded to SCR and the types of people that amplify their message," Wilder said.
As a Jewish American, Wilder admitted that she never attempted to conceal her activism.
"I do have opinions on this issue," Wilder said. "I'm a Jewish American who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish community and this issue has been important to me my whole life — long before I even thought about journalism as an option for me."
AP is now facing scrutiny for its decision to fire Wilder. Jacob Kuppermann, a Stanford alum and friend of Wilder's who was involved in her activism work, sounded off about the move, describing it as "disgraceful."
"It's interesting that the Stanford College Republicans would take what is a broader pattern where people who speak out on Palestine issues get silenced and get fired from their jobs and use it against someone that they have history with," Kuppermann said.
While Wilder insisted she does not see her termination as "unfair," she does believe the news outlet's guidelines "are written so nebulously that they can be so asymmetrically applied and enforced when expedient."
"I think people should really think about what just happened," Wilder said. "[SCR] are trying to smear a Jewish person who is out and proud about her Jewishness, her Jewish family, her Jewish roots and got her fired from her job — and that's really what they accomplished at the end of the day."