WaPo reporter faces racist, sexist attacks from Tanden fans for ... asking Murkowski to comment on one of her tweets

An early example in the Biden administration of online Dems getting rough with one reporter who was “unhelpful” to their side pour encourager les autres.

If you read last night’s post about Tanden’s nomination, you already have some idea of what this is about. She’s in trouble partly because of her Twitter habit, and not just her critical commentary of lefty heroes like Bernie Sanders. She’s also jabbed at centrist Republicans like Susan Collins — and Lisa Murkowski, who looks to be Tanden’s last chance to provide the 50th vote she’d need for confirmation. Tanden has deleted many, many tweets since being nominated (as well as apologized privately for some of the things she’s said) to try to clean up the mess she made online.

But this tweet, curiously, remains available to the public as I write this:

WaPo reporter Seung Min Kim went looking through Tanden’s Twitter archive for any tweets she may have sent in the past about Murkowski, recognizing that those could matter at a moment when Tanden’s chances hinge on Murky’s support. She found the one above. And then, as reporters routinely did during the Trump years with presidential tweets, she showed it to the target to get her reaction. The moment was caught on film and circulated widely last night:

That’s all she did. She took a publicly available comment made by a candidate for a cabinet position and asked an elected official what she thought. And some of Tanden’s Twitter fanboys went ballistic, accusing Kim of trying to tank her nomination by showing Murkowski something at a delicate moment that might influence her vote, never mind that she was likely to see it eventually anyway.

A few weren’t polite about it either:

Kim’s employer, the Washington Post, issued this statement this afternoon condemning the “racist, sexist, and ill-informed attacks” aimed at Kim today:

I’m curious about this new standard among Tanden-ites in which asking a senator for comment on public material is some sort of offense against decency. How long was Kim supposed to avoid asking Murkowski a pertinent question about the nominee’s view of her, knowing that another reporter was likely to find the same old Tanden tweet and get the scoop by asking Murkowski instead?

The answer is obvious. She was supposed to wait until Murkowski had already cast her vote to confirm and couldn’t change her mind. Journalism is virtuous to the extent it serves the party, as it did during the Trump years. Once its interests and the party’s diverge, the party’s interests take precedence.

Whether out of basic decency or because she knows how bad it looks for her acolytes to be harassing a reporter, Tanden herself amplified WaPo’s defense of Kim:

Eh, probably too late. Murkowski looks to be leaning no and Kyrsten Sinema has been conspicuously quiet. I think Erick Erickson’s right that this ugly episode might finish her off, as it illustrates one of the reasons her slashing tweets are a liability: “This is exactly why Tanden cannot be confirmed. She fostered some of the original online mobs long before Trump was even a thing.” If the centrist Republicans in the Senate are looking to move on from Trump, and Murkowski certainly is, the online conduct of Tanden and her angriest supporters are an easy way for them to draw a line in the sand. “We need more civility from our public servants, starting with their online presence.” In fact, watch McConnell make a variation of that point below. If Tanden tanks because of her tweets and what happened to Kim today, that’s a strong incentive for every climber in Washington to keep their nose clean on social media and to encourage their followers to do so too for fear that their online excesses may come back to haunt them some day.