A Trump supporter tried to trigger a seizure in a journalist with epilepsy

Donald Trump.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A subset of Donald Trump's supporters have taken to actively attacking journalists through the internet using hate speech and images. GQ's Julia Ioffe received death threats for her profile on Melania Trump, The Observer's Dana Schwartz penned an open letter about the anti-Semitic attacks she gets from Trump supporters, and there are countless other examples.

One of the worst attacks was revealed by Newsweek's Kurt Eichenwald on Friday. Eichenwald became the target of Trump supporters after publishing an article about the conflict between Trump's business interests and U.S. national security. He also has intractable epilepsy, something he says he has "never made a secret." It was his epilepsy that was latched onto by a Twitter user with the handle "Mike's Deplorable AF" — "deplorable" being a title many Trump supporters have embraced after Clinton used the term to describe the racist, homophobic, and white power-supporting backers of Trump.

In his tweet, which has since been deleted, Mike made mention of my seizures and included a small video. It contained images of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that has been identified by the Anti-Defamation League as a hate symbol. I was carrying my iPad, looking at the still image on the video and, without thinking, touched the PLAY button.The video was some sort of strobe light, with flashing circles and images of Pepe flying toward the screen. It's what's called epileptogenic — something that triggers seizures. Fortunately, since I was standing, I simply dropped my iPad to the ground the second I realized what Mike had done. It landed face down on the bathroom floor.The deplorables are real. The deplorables are dangerous. [Newsweek]

You can read Eichenwald's entire account at Newsweek, here.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at TheWeek.com. She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.