A New York-based newspaper published a post mocking Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik as "childless" this week, prompting the congresswoman and her husband to issue a joint statement condemning the characterization as "hateful, abusive, and heartless."
What are the details?
The Times Union out of Albany posted a "work of fiction" presented as a made-up script Stefanik might deliver to first graders at a school visit, making fun of her throughout.
The paragraph that drew the ire of Stefanik read:
I see that there are only a few of you in class today, and I just want to assure you that there is nothing to be afraid of. That's why I am not wearing a mask. Because Kung Flu is a socialist hoax, a term that will mean more to you when you grow up and have children of your own. I myself am childless because I am a rising star in the Republican Party, and family planning is possible by way of the contraception paid for by my excellent taxpayer-provided healthcare plan.
The congresswoman and her husband, Matt Manda, responded with the following statement:
"As a young married couple, we have developed a thick skin over many years as we have become accustomed to repeated sexist smears in media coverage. However, the Times Union's decision to publish an article that mocked us as 'childless' is a new low and is truly heinous and wildly inappropriate. This shameful statement is not only inherently sexist, but also hateful, abusive, and heartless. The Times Union publisher, editors, and staff have clearly let the paper's standards sink so low that they have chosen to embrace sexist scum and content under the masthead. They should be ashamed.
We not only require a complete retraction, but we also demand an immediate public apology and explanation as to how this was allowed to be published in the Times Union and who will be held responsible and accountable.
We are grateful to the thousands of constituents who have encouraged and prayed for us over the years. Thank you for your kind words and best wishes. Like millions of families, we hope and pray that we will be blessed by becoming parents."
What happen to the 'blog' post?
The Times Union editor and vice president Casey Seiler told the outlet in a statement:
"The Times Union has for years hosted a series of community-generated blogs covering a range of topics. They are not edited by Times Union staff, but are expected to meet a set of civility guidelines. A post that recently appeared on one of these sites was brought to our attention, and, upon our review, we felt it did not meet those guidelines. We pulled it down immediately along with all earlier posts on that blog."