Alex Laska, a communications aide and staff assistant to Democratic Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes apparently takes bagels pretty seriously. After reading a listicle entitled “84 Things That Aren’t On An Everything Bagel” on the online meme-machine BuzzFeed.com, Mr. Laska posted a comment expressing his wish the writer of the list, Katie Notopoulos, would commit suicide.
“I want the next thing Katie Notopoulos posts on here to be her suicide note,” Mr. Laska wrote via his personal Facebook page, which identified him as an employee of the House of Representatives.
BuzzFeed’s community moderator responded by posting the exchange on Tumblr and criticizing Mr. Laska for “publicly embarrass[ing] himself by asking for one of our editors’ suicide note.” The Politicker reached out to Mr. Laska to see whether he thought the comment was appropriate. Despite having posted there, Mr. Laska claimed to be unfamiliar with BuzzFeed.
“I’m sorry what was this website?” he asked when we described the situation.
We repeated that the comment was posted on BuzzFeed.
“Can you spell that please?” Mr. Laska asked.
We spelled out the name of the site and read the comment to Mr. Laska. He asked us to send him a link to it.
“Oh my gosh, yeah if you could send that to me right away that would be great,” Mr. Laska said.
In the meantime, we asked Mr. Laska if he had any comment on the issue.
“No. I’m sorry, I’m a little unfamiliar with this,” said Mr. Laska. “If you could send me the comment I’d appreciate that.”
We sent Mr. Laska a link to the post about his comment and are awaiting a response. Since he received our call, the information about his work with the House has been removed from his Facebook page. We also reached out to BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief (and Politicker alum) Ben Smith for his take on the situation.
“I don’t have anything to say about it,” Mr. Smith said.