Early on Tuesday, Politico magazine reporter Ian Murphy turned to his Twitter account to unleash a series of profanity-laced tweets in response to a story from Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon.
Bannon had written a story pointing out how Murphy, from whom Politico published a piece alleging that Gov. Scott Walker was a liar, has previously written nasty things about the United States military, including the headline of a previous article: “Fuck the troops.”
“I love how whenever I do something, a bunch of people attack me for a 5 year-old article they haven’t read,” Murphy tweeted. “Literally, love it.”
That, and the Breitbart News story from earlier, prompted several people to tweet at Murphy about his previous “Fuck the Troops” argument.
“Fascination?” Murphy wrote back. “Not really. It is a great fucking word though.”
The questioner responded to that tweet, saying: “Well, when you can’t think of anything else, may as well talk like a teenager.”
“Fuck is a rich, versatile word,” Murphy wrote back. “And at least I don’t worship ‘teenage’ trickle down nonsense. Reagan fucks Satan in hell.”
Then, one self-identified military veteran named Matthew Laas tweeted at him asking him if he would say “fuck the troops” to the “face of any military member” like himself. Murphy responded by asking if he read the article, and Laas said he had. Then Laas tweeted a follow-up to Murphy saying, “hey write what you want, it is a free country, people like my brothers and myself gave you the right to spew your hate.”
Murphy responded by asking in a tweet filled with profanity: “Bullshit. What the fuck have you ever done to protect my free speech?”
Laas responded: “besides fight, bleed, and kill those who would rather cut you throat than look at you, for the past 16 years?”
Murphy tweeted back: “So nothing, is what you’re saying. Who’d you kill? People who threatened my free speech. Dude. Come on.”
Laas then responded over two tweets. “It is not about who I would or have killed, it was about who and what I was protecting, and continue to protect,” he said, adding: “military service is not about what is at the end of the barrel, but what is at your back.”
At that point, Murphy retreated from the conversation: “OK! Been a blast engaging with all you lovely, unreasonable, violent people, but I gotta go grocery shopping. TTYL!”
Murphy’s Tweets seem to be the only response from anyone at Politico to the revelations in Bannon’s story earlier Tuesday, as the news outlet has not officially responded in public to it.
Even so, as Bannon noted in his piece, Politico’s use of Murphy’s work in its magazine “seems an odd and risky choice” because the media outlet runs several advertisements from defense contractors in its defense-related policy coverage.