Trump late Tuesday rejoiced on Twitter at reports that the coronavirus pandemic had forced the 163-year-old publication to lay off 68 employees, some 17% of its workforce:
Trump said it was “great news” that the “boring but very nasty magazine” was “going down the tubes.”
“This is a tough time to be in the Fake News Business!” the president ranted.
Jeffrey Goldberg, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, fired back via his Twitter biography. He rewrote it to read: “Boring but very nasty editor in chief of the boring but very nasty Atlantic.”
It’s a tactic that Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has used on various occasions to mock Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and others who have criticized her.
Goldberg also suggested Trump had been triggered by an article headlined “Donald Trump, the Most Unmanly President,” and used the magazine’s time in the spotlight to promote its subscription services.
The Atlantic announced the layoffs, alongside executive pay cuts and salary freezes, on Thursday. Some 22 editorial staffers were fired. Its live events, sales and marketing teams were also hit.
“I know that the pandemic is indiscriminate in its course, cutting through various industries and geographies,” Atlantic Media Chair David Bradley reportedly told staff. “But, as has been the case for decades, our media economy is especially hard hit.”
Deputy managing editor Rachel Gutman tweeted she was “devastated.”
“They are some of the most wonderful people I know, and I cannot overstate how much I’ve learned from them.”
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