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Editorial Tussle at Washington City Paper

Oddities began happening at the Washington City Paper last night. The details are still sketchy, but here’s what we know: Writer Moe Tkacik published a story involving rape and “hot” women. Last night, a woman named Laura Greenback, calling herself a “reader/fan” asked Managing Editor Mike Madden over Twitter to remove the “victims’ names” from Tkacik’s story.

The story was pulled.

Tkacik, meanwhile, is livid. She said on Twitter, “Oh Jesus Christ. Hey, @mikemadden let’s be transparent, if you or any other @wcp superiors want to delete names and/or fire me, feel free!” She also wrote: “From my perspective, names were just the obvs way of keeping their stories straight. They’ve been all over internet, tweeting etc abt this.” And this: “And also no one except conspiracy theorists (but DEF not me!) is accusing them of doing anything wrong? Unless “being hot” counts! OHGODWHAT.” And this: “Also, I did not get the memo about how we were supposed to be all State Department “see no evil” abt accusers’ names at this point.”

In Tkacik’s original message last night on Twitter introducing her newly published story, she wrote, “Sigh. Never wanted to write about “rape” again in my life, but #mooreandme fememeists [sic] violated my brain too many times.” She then links to a story that no longer exists.

(A previous story by Tkacik on date rape appeared in Slate in May of 2009.)

Madden replied to a FBDC request for comment saying, “I unpublished that post late last night because I hadn’t seen it until then, and given the subject matter, wanted a chance to read it before deciding what to do with it. Since it was late, I decided to just take it down, rather than try to edit it on the fly, and look at it again this morning.”

We’ve also requested comment from Tkacik.

Story developing…

> Update #1: Tkacik’s story involved Wikileaks Creator Julian Assange and the women he was accused of raping, specifically naming them in it. In addition, just for purposes of keeping the time line accurate, Madden took the piece down after Tkacik tweeted about Madden and WCP deleting names and possibly firing her — that was not Tkacik’s reaction to her superiors taking down her story.

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