A Republican candidate in New Jersey dropped out of his election race after reportedly sending derogatory tweets to a reporter. Michael Krawitz — who was a candidate for the township committee in West Deptford Township, New Jersey — had directed a number of harassing tweets to The Daily Beast reporter Olivia Nuzzi. One tweet stated that he “hoped” she would get raped.
A number of Twitter users seem to believe the social media app is an open forum to say whatever pops into their head. But some tweets do qualify as harassment, and Twitter is trying to alleviate the issue. Nuzzi said Krawitz had been harassing her through social media since 2014, with many of his early insults being standard trolling. “Olivia. You. Call. Yourself. A. Journalist. ?” read one tweet from December 2014. And he even invited her out to New Jersey after she wrote a story about the collapse of the New Jersey-based Trump Taj Mahal: “I. Invite. Olivia. To. Contact. Me. So. I. Can. Show. You. Around. The. Taj. Mahal. I’ll. Pay. For. Everything. Mike.” We’re not sure if the extra periods are supposed to emphasize the statement or what.
Nuzzi said Kravitz’s tweets started to grow more hostile and were no longer just standard trolling. Krawitz went as far to call Nuzzi an “Ugly. Stupid. C*nt.” and “hoped” she would be a victim of sexual assault. In an op-ed at The Daily Beast, Nuzzi blamed the atmosphere that she says Donald Trump has created, which she believes allows harassment like this to occur:
“In the age of Trump, bullying has been rebranded as telling it like it is. Using obscene or threatening language is a point of pride, proof that you’re beholden to nothing but the truth. And anyone who can’t handle that? Well, they’re just a politically correct loser.”
Through a handwritten note through the West Deptford Township Republican Party, Krawitz announced that he was bowing out of the race. ABC Action News in Philadelphia tried to interview Krawitz at his home, but he declined to comment on the story.