John Fetterman, the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, has recently been involved in a dispute with a local newspaper journalist, Tom Sokol. The dispute began when Sokol wrote an article defending Fetterman against a right-wing, anti-immigration pressure group that had targeted him in a campaign of online harassment.
In response to the article, Fetterman sent Sokol a tweet saying he had “overstepped the bounds of decency”. Fetterman then called Sokol a “keyboard warrior” and told him he had “crossed a line”—even though, according to Sokol, the journalist was simply doing his job.
This incident has baffled many on social media and in the journalism community, as it seems to be an overreaction to an article defending the mayor from very public attacks. It seems to be a case of Fetterman shooting the messenger, when he should be thankful for the support and positive press. As such, it has cast a shadow of confusion and general befuddlement over the situation.