Discord descended on the Washington Post Tuesday, its ranks filled with the indignant grumblings of displeased employees.
Some editorial-side employees were upset after the Post published a profile — "Meet the divisive blogger who says he outed Rolling Stone’s 'Jackie'” — they thought was excessively favorable to Charles C. Johnson, the subject of the article.
Profiling someone "who unethically harasses and stalks people for fun/attention seems counterproductive,” reporter Wesley Lowery tweeted.
“So true,” projects editor Lynda Robinson responded.
“Agreed. I feel guilty about every click that story is getting,” economics reporter Chico Harlan added.
Elsewhere in media circles, the Johnson profile, which was written by foreign desk reporter Terrence McCoy, found little love.
“[T]here’s a good profile of you-know-who that could be done,” BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray tweeted, “but that wasn’t it.”
Dave Weigel of Bloomberg News referred to the article as an “irresponsibly fluffy profile.”
Politico’s Ben White had a simple question: “What was the Post thinking?”
Johnson, who describes himself as a “researcher, journalist, author [and] debunker of frauds,” has in recent weeks chased a dubious Rolling Stone magazine report written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, titled “A Rape on Campus,” that detailed an alleged sexual assault suffered by a University of Virginia student known only as “Jackie.”
Johnson threatened on Twitter and his personal blog to reveal her true identity.
“I always give my opponents an opportunity to do the right thing. [She] has until midnight to tell the truth about making it up. #IStandWithJackie,” he tweeted Sunday.
Johnson on Monday published what he claimed was a photo from 2011 of the alleged UVA rape victim. He has since issued a correction, stating clearly that the woman featured on his blog is not, in fact, the same woman at the center of the Rolling Stone report.
The strongest criticism for the Washington Post profile came Tuesday from the Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis.
“If you want more bloggers threatening to expose the identities of an alleged rape victims, then you can thank the Washington Post for helping expedite that,” Lewis wrote, accusing the newspaper later of publishing a “wet kiss profile.”
“Today’s profile of Charles Johnson is enough to fuel Johnson’s narcissism for years to come — and to embolden the delusional dreams of dozens more aspiring conservative Hunter S. Thompsons,” Lewis said in an article titled, “About The Washington Post’s Romanticizing Profile Of Charles Johnson.”
The Daily Caller has in the past published freelance articles authored by Johnson.
“There is, of course, the small problem of the Post romanticizing the work of someone who is threatening to reveal personal details about an alleged rape victim,” Lewis wrote.
None of the Post employees quoted above responded to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.