News & Politics

Biden Deputy Press Secretary TJ Ducklo Threatens Reporter: 'I Will Destroy You'

Fox News

Earlier this week there was a treacly story in People magazine about an Axios White House reporter named Alexi McCammond, who turns out to be dating White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo. A heartwarming workplace romance! There were a few grumbles about ethics in journalism and whatnot, but then everybody forgot about it because journalists don’t really care about ethics. Besides, at least Biden isn’t Trump, right? The journos got what they wanted and they just want to take a nap for 4-8 years.

But now the story is getting interesting!

Caleb Ecarma, Vanity Fair:

A White House official tried to quash a story about his relationship with a reporter by issuing threats and using derogatory language to another reporter pursuing it, according to two sources familiar with the incident. In a sympathetic profile Monday, People revealed that White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo is dating Axios political reporter Alexi McCammond, who covered the Joe Biden campaign. But behind the scenes, Ducklo had previously lashed out at Politico reporter Tara Palmeri, who was reporting the story…

Ducklo subsequently called a Playbook editor to object to the story, but was told to call the Playbook reporters with his concerns. But instead of calling the male reporter who initially contacted him, Ducklo tried to intimidate Palmeri by phone in an effort to kill the story. “I will destroy you,” Ducklo told her, according to sources, adding that he would ruin her reputation if she published it.

During the off-the-record call, Ducklo made derogatory and misogynistic comments, accusing Palmeri of only reporting on his relationship—which, due to the ethics questions that factor into the relationship between a journalist and White House official, falls under the purview of her reporting beat—because she was “jealous” that an unidentified man in the past had “wanted to f***” McCammond “and not you.”

My goodness. Intimidation and misogyny? This is a really great look for the Biden White House!

Especially considering the high-minded rhetoric we’ve been hearing since Joe took office. Just last week he said this:

And on his first day in office, he said this:

“If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot. On the spot. No if (sic), ands, or buts. Everybody, everybody is entitled to be treated with decency. That’s been missing, in a big way, the last four years.”

Putting aside Joe’s own failures in this area — “Look, fat” — this is a fine principle for any president to espouse. Not everybody is a fan of the last guy’s methods, so this landed softly on their ears.

But Biden said that three whole weeks ago. I’m not sure he still remembers he said it, or even understood what he was saying as he was saying it.

Did he mean it? Will he fire this Ducklo kid? If this story is true, Ducklo browbeat a reporter and promised to “destroy” her for doing her job, and belittled her because some unknown guy wanted to “f***” Ducklo’s girlfriend instead of the reporter. Yikes! That sure sounds like disrespect to me. It seems pretty damn adversarial against the free press.

I don’t have to tell you to imagine how our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters would be reacting if this were still the Trump White House, because you just lived through four years of it. Will they hold Biden to the same standard? Will Biden hold himself to the same high standard he just set?

This is especially amusing, considering the Valentine’s Day message this White House just sent out:

Yeah, your boy TJ didn’t get that memo. I’m not really where where “I will destroy you” fits on that list.

A lot of people voted for Biden (which I did not and never will) because they thought he was going to be different than Trump. Now is his chance to prove it. Will he rise to the occasion? Will he keep his promise? Will he do the right thing?

Hey, anything’s possible, I guess!

Update: Nope.

“No ifs, ands, or buts. But…”

When Will Biden Apologize for Accusing the Capitol Police of Racism?