Conservative columnist and Commentary magazine editor John Podhoretz offered an apology on Thursday for a tweet mocking NYU’s decision to hire Lauren Duca and Talia Lavin as adjunct journalism professors and joking that journalism schools needed to be “neutron bombed.”
Podhoretz, who called his remarks “satirical,” said he never intended for anyone to assume he wished actual harm on journalists or schools that train them.
“On Wednesday, I wrote an aggressive and rude satirical tweet involving a neutron bomb, the NYU Journalism School, journalism schools in general, and two writers.” Podhoretz, a prominent conservative thinker who has edited Commentary for a decade, said in a statement on the magazine’s website. “I regret my attacks on Lauren Duca and Talia Lavin, which were unprovoked and therefore entirely unseemly. I wholeheartedly apologize to them.”
“I am a journalist. I employ journalists. I publish journalists. I have spent a 37-year career working in and around and among journalists. I have worked full-time at six major journalistic institutions,” he continued. “Let me assure anyone who might have believed otherwise from my tweet that I love my profession and I do not wish to see any fellow journalists come to harm.”
Podhoretz declined to comment further.
In a tweet on Wednesday that is no longer visible on the platform, Podhoretz wrote, “Talia Lavin and Lauren Duca teaching at NYU J School is the best argument yet that J Schools should be neutron bombed and their building given to Rick Singer for no show side door people.”
His Twitter account was disabled hours later, something a Twitter spokesperson said was not of the social-media platform’s doing.
Podhoretz’s original remarks came after TheWrap reported Wednesday that Lavin had been appointed to teach a class on far-right extremism one year after she resigned as a fact-checker at The New Yorker after she falsely accused a disabled ICE agent and Afghan war veteran of wearing a Nazi tattoo.
Both the Lavin and Duca appointments have come in for significant criticism online. NYU did not immediately respond to request for comment over the current status of Lavin and Duca’s fall 2019 classes.