Is compassion and kindness really back in the White House?
President Biden vowed to fire an associate "immediately" if he heard that they had spoken to someone or treated a colleague with disrespect. "No ifs and buts," he said as he swore in about 1,000 of his appointed people last month. “Everyone has the right to be treated with decency and dignity. That has been very much lacking in the last four years. "
Well, now that President's promise has been put to the test after White House Assistant Secretary TJ Ducklo made alleged threatening and misogynistic comments to a Politico reporter about a story about his romantic engagement with another, according to a Vanity Fair Journalists kill report that went viral on Friday. White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that Ducklo had apologized and was suspended for a week without pay.
So what happened
Ducklo is dating Axios reporter Alexi McCammond, who covered the Biden campaign. In fact, people introduced the couple in a personable story posted on Monday that detailed how their “romance” blossomed in the fall, and the couple told their managers about their November relationship. Additionally, Ducklo said he was "absolutely no" source for McCammond while they were together. And a White House source told the publication that their relationship was "Washington's worst-kept secret."
But before the piece People came out, Politico's playbook had investigated the relationship. Tara Palmeri reached out to McCammond for comment on inauguration day, while another Politico reporter reached out to Ducklo.
However, Ducklo called Palmeri back and told her to drop the story or "I'll destroy you". He also allegedly accused Palmeri of only taking on the job because she was "jealous" that an unidentified man in the past wanted "McCammond" – and not her.
Palmeri countered allegations by telling Vanity Fair that this story was assigned to her; she hadn't opened it. Additionally, Palmeri said she had no prior relationship or communication with McCammond before calling her to share the story.
The Vanity Fair report went viral on Twitter
On Friday, experts and analysts on both sides of the aisle called on Ducko to step back or to go into the can. Some asked if the Biden government is making a sincere call to restore unity and respect to the White House.
The Politico Playbook also challenged Biden's standards of professional conduct, and recently reported on the new president's promise to fire disrespectful employees. "This morning we are dealing with a serious question: Does this standard apply to how middle-level press representatives deal with reporters?" The point of sale wrote last month.
Psaki responded by tweeted that Ducklo had apologized to Palmeri and also wrote her a personal apology.
She added that Ducklo has been suspended for a week without pay, and he would be the first to say that "this is not the standard of conduct set by the president".
When Ducklo comes back he will no longer work with reporters at Politico.