New York Times’s Jacob Bernstein Apologizes for Calling Melania Trump a ‘Hooker’

How to behave and not in an age where you can't presume privacy

A series of tweets bookend either side of a story that began not in the virtual but in the real world, during Fashion Week. An encounter with a journalist at an event led model Emily Ratajkowski to publish a series of tweets Monday recounting the incident, which involved a then-unnamed New York Times journalist calling first lady Melania Trump a “hooker,” according to Ratajkowski’s account. She concluded by tweeting:

That was followed later in the day by a statement from the New York Times. “At a party last night, a Times reporter who does not cover Washington or politics, referred to an unfounded rumor regarding Melania Trump,” read the statement. “The comment was not intended to be public, but it was nonetheless completely inappropriate and should not have occurred. Editors have talked to the reporter in question about the lapse.”

The reporter continued to remain unnamed until today, when he outed himself in a series of tweets apologizing for the incident. He turned out to be Jacob Bernstein, a feature writer for the Times who is also the son of Carl Bernstein, who incidentally turns 73 today, and the late Nora Ephron. His apology:

The decision for Bernstein to issue his apology through Twitter was mutually arrived at after a discussion with editors, according to Times public editor Liz Spayd, who felt Bernstein’s response and the Times’ handling of the situation was appropriate to the “strange territory” under which the incident transpired.

The chances of this ending discussion on the incident? Pretty much non-existent.