Wednesday, June 24, 2020

"Why Did the Washington Post Get This Woman Fired?"

before [the WaPo article on June 17, the woman] was a graphic designer with no public profile and no apparent power or ambitions to obtain it.


In 2018, [she] attended a Halloween party at the home of Tom Toles, the Post’s Pulitzer Prize–winning editorial cartoonist. The basis for [her] costume was topical. NBC had recently fired Megyn Kelly after she said, on the air, that she didn’t understand why it was necessarily considered racist for people to wear blackface as part of a Halloween costume. [The woman], who is white, decided to lampoon the anchor by dressing as Megyn Kelly–in–blackface.

It wasn’t a good idea, and, predictably, it didn’t go over well. That night, [she] was repeatedly confronted about the racially offensive costume — by the cabdriver who took her to Toles’s house; by the party’s co-host, Steve Rochlin, who told the Post he instructed her to “wash that off or go”; and by several guests at the party, one of whom would tip the newspaper to her actions nearly two years later, causing the incident to “resurface,” as the Post’s headline put it. The day after the party, [she] called Toles and apologized for what she had worn.


The story first arrived at the Post via [a party goer], who . . . had confronted [the woman] that night in 2018. . . . . Nineteen months later, [the party goer continued trying to identify the woman].