Rep. Stefanik Brings NY Paper to Heel Over ‘Sexist’ Smear Against Her Family

One New York publication has reached new lows with its political commentary in recent days, going so far as to mock a female Republican congresswoman for her lack of children. Though that one congresswoman is not taking those insults lying down. 

On January 19, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and her husband Mike Manda slammed the Times Union, an Albany-based paper, for the disgusting, sexist smear against the young conservative couple. The paper had published a fictional op-ed on January 16 written from the perspective of Stefanik which poked fun at her political beliefs as well as her personal life.

Peter Marino and Lâle Davidson, the authors of the disgusting satire, wrote about a fictional address from Stefanik to a group of first graders. The attacks began right at the start with the lawmaker telling the kids, “I’m just an everyday American like you, with a humble upbringing of private high school and then Harvard. And I appreciate your parents putting up my lawn signs even though they had to pay for them.” 

Of course, the hits kept coming. The paper mocked her political career, writing, “She knew that the people she repressed—represented—needed jobs and safe schools and health care and a healthy environment. So she spent her time fighting for gun rights and the Keystone Pipeline, and against abortion rights and Obamacare.” They even saved some venom for President Trump, who they dubbed “the Maga man,” and who they described as having “been sprinkled with magic Cheeto dust, or possibly Agent Orange.” 

The authors also slammed Stefanik for aiding Trump’s claims that the election was rigged and accused her of fighting for the guns that were present at the ensuing Capitol riot. (All five of them.) “Then, The Maga Man called for his freedom-loving followers to fight for him, and they came to the Capitol wearing Viking horns and carrying all the guns Elise had fought so hard for them to have.”

Of course, this was typical partisan nastiness. Where the Times Union really went too far was attacking Stefanik’s personal life and her family, or lack thereof. The fictional version of the lawmaker told the children, “I myself am childless because I am a rising star in the Republican Party, and family planning is possible by way of the contraception paid for by my excellent taxpayer-provided healthcare plan.”

In an official statement, Stefanik and her husband slammed the paper for this vile treatment, claiming, “As a young couple, we have developed a thick skin over many years as we have become accustomed to repeated sexist smears in media coverage. However, the Times Union’s decision to publish an article that mocked us as ‘childless’ is a new low.” The couple also added that the smear was “truly heinous,” “wildly inappropriate,” and further described the attack as “inherently sexist, but also hateful, abusive, and heartless.”

“Like millions of families, we hope and pray that we will be blessed by becoming parents,” they concluded. We wish them well.

The congresswoman made it clear her and her husband required “a complete retraction,” as well as “an immediate public apology and explanation as to how this was allowed to be published in the Times Union and who will be held responsible and accountable.”

The piece has since been deleted from the Times Union’s website, however, a form of the piece is still up at Lâle Davidson’s personal blog, though the “childless” jab appears to have been taken out. Sounds like even Davidson knows it was low class.

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