Commentary

Kyle Kashuv Just Took Down One of Newsweek's Senior Writers in Front of the Entire Country

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Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald is kind of like the Wile E. Coyote of the liberal media establishment. The publication’s senior writer keeps on pursuing his Road Runner, which in this case would be defined as anything remotely conservative. He sets the trap carefully. And every time, like clockwork, it blows up in his face.

This is, after all, a man who tried to show the world how menacing his conservative detractors were with a photograph of a threat he received … which proved he was looking at Japanese animated pornography in his browser. He later tweeted out the excuse that he was looking at said porn to prove to his wife that it existed.

This is one of Newsweek’s senior writers. And they wonder why they’re having issues paying their rent.

The great thing about Eichenwald is that he doesn’t actually learn from his mistakes. Case in point: a back-and-forth with Parkland shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv that proved he didn’t actually know who he was dealing with. Literally.

First, some background. Eichenwald used to be a commentator with MSNBC, but his contract apparently expired a month ago. However, he’s long been going after Kyle Kashuv for seemingly no reason on Twitter.

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Now, since David Hogg has been calling for a boycott of Laura Ingraham and Fox News over Ingraham joking about Hogg’s college rejections (something she’s since apologized for), Kashuv thought that turnabout was fair play, not knowing that Eichenwald had left the network.

However, these are some pretty nasty insults, especially the parts about conspiracy theories and calling his followers “infantile.” They also seem weirdly specific, for a reason we’ll discover later.

Eichenwald and Kashuv began a back-and-forth on Twitter in which Kashuv looked like the more mature individual (even while bringing up Eichenwald’s tendencies toward anime porn). I wish I could show you more of it, but a lot of it seems to have been deleted.

Why, you may ask? Well, Eichenwald didn’t actually know who he was insulting. And when I say that, I don’t mean it in the “Boy, he sure didn’t know who he was dealing with when he got into that fight in the bar, but he found out in a hurry when he was sprawled out on the floor” kind of way. I mean one of Newsweek’s senior writers actually didn’t know who he was dealing with:

“Nothing else I said is relevant.” For some reason, I think there’s a few words too many or too few in that sentence.

Alas, it seems that Eichenwald actually confused Kashuv with a high school podcaster who has apparently trafficked in conspiracy theories and has gone after Eichenwald.

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Kurt Eichenwald, ladies and gentlemen.

Look, everyone makes mistakes. Every journalist or writer is, I suppose, entitled to a slip-up. I recall making one in particular where I had the urge to email in my resignation and hide under the covers for a few days, ordering Pizza Hut and watching old episodes of “Top Gear” until the acute embarrassment subsided. (Felicitously, I suppose, I chose instead to bang my head against my desk a few times and move onto the next assignment, trying to remain somewhat unaware of the fact that I was pretty much the laughingstock and/or bane of the publication for several days.)

Do you think Kurt Eichenwald owes Kyle Kashuv more than an apology?

There are several reasons, however, why Eichenwald’s situation is a bit different.

First, Eichenwald is not a man of few mistakes. Most of them don’t involve hentai, either.

He once falsely reported that Trump supporters had cheered the death of astronaut John Glenn at at event. He’s actively wished death upon the families of Republicans who supported health care reform. Newsweek has also had to settle a lawsuit with an editor for the English-language state-sponsored Russian website Sputnik who was smeared by Eichenwald; it was alleged Eichenwald had tried to use bribery and threats to silence the young editor over a story Eichenwald had written which implied far too much about a mistake the editor had made. (Ah, irony.)

And then there’s the weird stuff which isn’t outright mendacity or maliciousness. There’s the aforementioned hentai thing. He also has a bizarre fascination with taking down Fox News’ Tucker Carlson; this culminated in Eichenwald making one of the most absurd news media appearances in recent memory on Carlson’s show in 2016, one which ended with Carlson openly wondering about Eichenwald’s mental health.

There’s also the fact that no one in Eichenwald’s position should have made this error. Kashuv is one of the most famous high schoolers in America at the moment. If you cover or opine on Parkland or gun rights (Eichenwald does) or have any interest in American politics at all (one hopes Eichenwald does, at least considering he is both a senior writer at Newsweek and a media gadfly), you should now probably know who Kashuv is, particularly since he’s been the loudest conservative voice among the Parkland survivors.

He is not, like Eichenwald apparently believed, a random kid with a podcast. How one makes this mistake is beyond me — and yet, the fact that it was Kurt Eichenwald who made it was one of the least surprising things I’ve ever had to report on.

Yes, Kashuv made a blunder in believing Eichenwald was still in MSNBC’s employ (although Eichenwald’s position as an MSNBC contributor was still listed on his Twitter profile, which was likely the genesis of the mistake). Kashuv is also not a senior writer at Newsweek or a former MSNBC contributor.

Yes, we’re all entitled to a mistake or two. This is not mistake number one or two for Eichenwald, and all of them seem to have been borne of a towering anti-conservative rage that apparently compels him to tweet or file a story before he actually thinks about it. When one of those mistakes involves baseless insults against a Parkland survivor simply because Eichenwald confused that survivor with a random teenage podcaster who apparently has beef with him, the repercussions should probably go beyond just a tweeted apology.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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