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'Deplorables' Harass Journalist With Epilepsy

Kurt Eichenwald, a writer for Newsweek who has written several recent articles about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and the Trump Foundation, revealed on Oct. 7 that he has been harassed by so-called "deplorables."

The "deplorables" nickname arose when Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton referred to some Trump supporters -- white supremacists, neo-Nazis and others with bigoted beliefs -- as such.

In response, many Trump supporters began using "deplorables" and "deplorable" in their Twitter handles. Trump's campaign even sells "deplorable" T-shirts online for $35 each.

Eichenwald writes that he has been public about his epilepsy and seizures, which he says are under control as best as can be.

He notes that after he wrote a Sept. 14 article entitled, "How the Trump Organization's Foreign Business Ties Could Upend U.S. National Security," he received a tweet from a Twitter user with the handle "Mike's Deplorable AF."

The tweet has since been deleted but it reportedly included a mention of Eichenwald's seizures and an embedded video.

He recalls that the video's still image featured Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that has been co-opted by the alt-right movement and Trump supporters, who have used it as a racist symbol.

Eichenwald writes:

I was carrying my iPad, looking at the still image on the video and, without thinking, touched the PLAY button. The video was some sort of strobe light, with flashing circles and images of Pepe flying toward the screen. It’s what’s called epileptogenic—something that triggers seizures.

Fortunately, since I was standing, I simply dropped my iPad to the ground the second I realized what Mike had done. It landed face down on the bathroom floor. The deplorables are real. The deplorables are dangerous.

Eichenwald states that he has also received death threats, been called offensive anti-Semitic insults, anti-gay and anti-black slurs (he is white) from Trump supporters.

"One Trump fan mentioned he knew which schools my children attended, and correctly named them. Topping it off, some Trump fans have even gone after one of my sons online, although he knew enough to immediately block them," he said.

Eichenwald writes that other journalists have also been threatened after writing articles and reporting on Trump: Charles Blow of The New York Times, Katy Tur of NBC News, Bethany Mandel of The Federalist, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, Julia Ioffe of GQ and Jonathan Weisman of The New York Times.

"I will leave @twitter to the racists, the anti-Semites, the Bernie Bros who attacked women reporters yesterday. Maybe Twitter will rethink," Weisman tweeted on June 8: 

Eichenwald concludes by acknowledging the danger of even writing about the "deplorables" in his current article:

I write this knowing that it will spur more vile and violent online attacks on me. I have warned my children and my wife to be extra careful. And now that I have revealed how easy it is to inflict an injury on me, until this election is over, I will not be pushing PLAY on any unsolicited video I receive. It’s simply too dangerous.

Sources: Newsweek, Jonathan Weisman/Twitter, / Photo Credit:

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