The Journalist Who Broke The Aziz Ansari Story Just Torpedoed Her Entire Career With One E-Mail

Last week, the Rupert Murdoch-funded website broke a story that, shock and horror, Aziz Ansari was a bit of a jerk on a date. The story of how Aziz made more than one clumsy attempt to get the naked woman who was sucking his dick to have sex with him normally wouldn’t have gotten any traction at all, but in the current climate every news outlet and Twitter account holder had an opinion on it.

Headline News anchor Ashleigh Banfield criticized the story, essentially saying that trying to lump an offense as minor as Ansari’s with people like James Toback and Harvey Weinstein would damage the movement. There’s some truth to Banfield’s words. There’s a broad coalition of people who want to end Hollywood’s culture of sexual harassment and abuse; the coalition of people who want to run actors out of town for being a bit impolite on a date is much narrower.

The journalist who broke the story, 22-year-old Katie Way, was very unhappy with the way Banfield criticized her, and decided to let the Headline News’ booker know it when she was invited to appear on the network and give a rebuttal. Here’s the blistering e-mail Way sent that will undoubtedly dog her for her entire career, which was provided by Business Insider.

It’s an unequivocal no from me. The way your colleague Ashleigh (?), someone I’m certain no one under the age of 45 has ever heard of, by the way, ripped into my source directly was one of the lowest, most despicable things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Shame on her. Shame on HLN. Ashleigh could have “talked” to me. She could have “talked” to my editor or my publication. But instead, she targeted a 23-year-old woman in one of the most vulnerable moments of her life, someone she’s never f—ing met before, for a little attention. I hope the ratings were worth it! I hope the ~500 RTs on the single news write-up made that burgundy lipstick bad highlights second-wave feminist has-been feel really relevant for a little while. She DISGUSTS me, and I hope when she has more distance from the moment she has enough of a conscience left to feel remotely ashamed — doubt it, but still. Must be nice to piggyback off of the fact that another woman was brave enough to speak up and add another dimension to the societal conversation about sexual assault. Grace wouldn’t know how that feels, because she struck out into this alone, because she’s the bravest person I’ve ever met. I would NEVER go on your network. I would never even watch your network. No woman my age would ever watch your network. I will remember this for the rest of my career — I’m 22 and so far, not too shabby! And I will laugh the day you fold. If you could let Ashleigh know I said this, and that she is no-holds-barred the reason, it’d be a real treat for me.


Let me give you the tl;dr on that letter. “LoL, I’m such a better feminist than you, you ugly old hag. Do you even buy Kylie Jenner’s clothes, you grown old lady?” It’s a real good look. Oh, and “Grace,” the woman who accused Aziz Ansari of being a bit inconsiderate on their date, didn’t go to Babe with her story, they sought her out. So that’s a thing.

Katie is right about one thing, though, she’ll remember this for the rest of her career. At least I assume, since her career is just about over now.

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Pauly Incorrect
Pauly Incorrect
4 years ago

This article would be interesting if anyone cared who these people are.

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