Dear reporter, drop dead.
That’s the clean and abbreviated version of longtime Hillary Clinton spokesperson Philippe Reines’ email conversation with BuzzFeed‘s Michael Hastings on Sunday.
The conversation started with Hastings basically wanting to know what’s going on at the State Department. Three days after the fatal attack on Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ in Benghazi, Libya, CNN found his journal at the site of the incident. After returning the diary to his family, the news network published excerpts indicating that Stevens was worried about security threats. That seems to contradict the State Department’s position that it had no warning of the attack.
Officials at the State Department have criticized CNN for publishing portions of the diary, and Reines kept up the criticism in his emails to Hastings, who defended the news network in the name of good journalism.
After a couple of long and tense email exchanges, the conversation turned nasty when Reines wrote: “Why do you bother to ask questions you’ve already decided you know the answers to?”
To which Hastings responded: “Why don’t you give answers that aren’t bullshit for a change?”
In response to that blow, Reines pulled out the big guns (please remove any children from the room for this one):
“I now understand why the official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt that you’re an unmitigated asshole.
“How’s that for a non-bullshit response?
“Now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems, have a good day.
“And by good day, I mean Fuck Off.”
The exchange grows even more juvenile from here, with Hastings mentioning Reines’ reputation with women.
You can bet on the fact that neither BuzzFeed nor CNN is getting any scoops or exclusives from the State Department in the near future.