We get the appeal of trolling. Sometimes you just need to let off steam by telling the digital world how you really feel (without using your real name, of course). Hell, it seems like almost every ad exec in the country spends his or her lunch break slinging anonymous insults in the AgencySpy comment threads.
But if you’re a top White House aide, then mocking your friends, allies and employers might not be the best idea, because eventually it will come back to bite you in the ass. You might claim to be “Unapologetically [saying] what everyone else only thinks”, but that won’t make a very good defense when you get caught.
Last night The Daily Beast broke news that national security staffer (!) Jofi Joseph had been tweeting as @NatSecWonk for two years before killing the handle last week. A collection of messages from the account, saved for eternity by Favstar, reveals some very personal insults aimed at partisans and personalities on both sides of the aisle, along with leaks of classified information from within the administration.
According to Beast reporter Josh Rogin, many national security experts and top journalists followed the account in hopes of gleaning something juicy and were treated to charming 140-character diatribes like this one:
The report brings no word of how Joseph got caught, but we have a feeling someone ratted him out and we’re hoping it was a female colleague who wasn’t amused by his sexist opinions on the “hotness” of various prominent D.C. professionals:
the revelation…was a shock because Joseph was well known among policy wonks and his wife, Carolyn Leddy, is a well-respected professional staffer on the Republican side of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Jofi apologized to Politico, writing:
What started out as an intended parody account of DC culture developed over time into a series of inappropriate and mean-spirited comments.
That’s one way to put it. Would a top PR pro ever do something like this? We follow a few accounts created specifically to mock the industry, and we have to say no. The fact that PR is so famously tight-lipped is a good thing, because running gags like this one never end well.