CNN contributor has huge Twitter fight with Washington Post writer over N95 masks
A Washington Post reporter living in East Hampton wished boils on a CNN writer who lambasted her for saying everyone she interacted with wore an N95 mask.
Hannah Selinger and Rebecca Bodenheimer argued for everyone to see on Saturday over Bodenheimer’s suggestion that Selinger’s continued addiction to medical-grade face masks smacks of irrational and privileged behavior.
Selinger, who splits her time between chic East Hampton and Boxford, Massachusetts, then launched into a multi-tweet attack on Bodenheimer.
And she even suggested that her online nemesis deserved to develop pain points for her sassiness.
The spat began with a series of tweets from Bodenheimer that read, “If you come up here and say *everyone* you interact with is wearing an N95, I have no choice but to assume you are interacting with a very small subset of people – mostly middle/upper class and working from home – and you have most things delivered to your home by service workers.
Bodenheimer, who lives in Oakland, continued, “That’s just not how the vast majority of Americans are living at this point in the pandemic. You’re free to mask for as long as you want, but what you won’t do is claim to represent the beliefs of a diverse sample of the population.
She concluded her screed by saying, “And the reason I know this is because I live in one of the most risk-averse cities in the country, but also one of the most racially diverse. and economical. I live next door to the hood and my spouse is an essential worker who works *in* the hood. I see a wide range of beliefs here.
CNN contributor Rebecca Bodenheimer, left, found herself in a cyber battle with Washington Post writer Hannah Selinger, right, after she called out people who brag about strict masking measures and Selinger s realized she was the person we were talking about
It was Bodenheimer’s thread that started the exchange
Selinger realized she was the one being talked about and posted a scathing response on Twitter
The spat was further heated when Bodenheimer admitted she was referring to Selinger in her original thread – but defended herself by saying she didn’t directly name Bodenheimer.
But Selinger – who writes for the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal – quickly lashed Bodenheimer, a freelancer who has worked for CNN, Vice, Politico and The Cut, with a barrage of invective.
She quoted Bodenheimer’s original tweet thread and wrote, “Rebecca tweets about me, because she’s anti-masking.”
Bodenheimer admitted that his original missive did indeed refer to Selinger.
She defended herself by saying she didn’t name Selinger or call her directly, and that she was just “making an observation.”
But that cut the ice a bit with Selinger, who said, “The tweet was about me!” Of course you called me! don’t be ridiculous. That’s passive-aggressive bullshit.
‘Either you say what you say (inaccurately, according to our conversation) and own it, and the repercussions, or you don’t.
“You know your tweet was inaccurate.”
Bodenheimer responded again to challenge Selinger’s claims that she was a coward, insisting, “I was trying not to harass you.”
And she added fuel to the fire by digging deeper into Selinger’s COVID safety measures, writing, “I know a lot of people aren’t as risk averse as you are and you shouldn’t assume that your beliefs extend to everyone.”
This further inflamed Selinger, who then asked if Bodenheimer should continue tweeting, given that she had followers who continued to “harass” Selinger.
Bodenheimer eventually left the cyber-battle, telling Selinger it was “over”.
This prompted Selinger to respond with a gif of a woman laughing hysterically.
The feud seemed to come to an end when Bodenheimer said she didn’t want to discuss it anymore, prompting Selinger to send her a gif of a cackling woman.
But Selinger decided to have the final say and suggested she hoped Bodenheimer would develop boils on her skin for taking her to task over her approach to masking.
Selinger then brought the feud full circle with a tweet that didn’t mention anyone directly – but appeared to wish Bodenheimer a painful illness.
She wrote: “So weird when seemingly rational people go anti-mask or anti-vaxx. It’s always the ones with weak social followings and a bit heavy too, amirite? It’s hard to know what to wish for these people. Maybe boils?
The fracas began earlier in the day after Selinger responded to an earlier tweet from Bodenheimer that masks ultimately didn’t make a difference unless they were high quality.
Selinger wrote, “People pretty much only wear N95s at this point. A warrant in certain federal circumstances is essential. You can’t expect people to do the right thing on, say, an airplane. They won’t.
The unseemly fight between the two writers is emblematic of seemingly endless tensions over COVID safety measures.
It’s also the latest example of well-paid journalists going public online on issues that many inflation-ridden Americans would consider insignificant.
COVID masking and vaccination mandates have been largely lifted in the United States as deaths from the virus decline, even as new variants continue to infect and re-infect thousands of Americans.
It’s part of the exchange that sparked the fight between the two women and led to Bodenheimer posting his series of tweets about privileged mask wearers.
Meanwhile, Washington Post staffer Felicia Sonmez was fired from her job earlier this month after days of raging with fellow male colleague Dave Wiegel after he retweeted a sexist joke saying all women were bisexual or bipolar.
Wiegel apologized, but Sonmez continued to speak out against his behavior and called for disciplinary action against the reporter who defended him.
Other august publications have also been rocked by staffers publicly attacking on Twitter – often over social justice issues.
That prompted them to warn staff to keep disputes private, with The New York Times also advising its reporters that they can stay off Twitter altogether, if they choose.