New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik condemned a local paper in her home district Tuesday for publishing an article of deplorable satire on its blog, mocking the young representative as heartless and childless.
The piece, published Sunday in the Albany Times Union and titled “Storytime with Elise Stefanik,” offers a short, fictional narrative in which Stefanik reads to a room of first-graders at a local school. The article, which appears to have been taken down but is also available on the personal website of one of its authors, portrays her as a purely self-interested politician who has even forgone growing a family out of professional ambition.
“I myself am childless because I am a rising star in the Republican Party, and family planning is possible by way of the contraception paid for by my excellent taxpayer-provided healthcare plan,” wrote the co-author bloggers, Peter Marino and Lale Davidson.
The writers also painted Stefanik as cruelly insensitive to the suffering brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, portraying her as offering a cold-hearted response to a first-grade child in the made-up tale when told of their grandmother’s passing.
“What is that you say, little one in the front with the adorable curls? Your grandmother died of COVID? I’m sorry. But, you know, she was old and was going to die sooner or later. That’s why Republicans invented Heaven,” the fictional Stefanik says. “Anyway, you don’t have to worry, since children are immune to the hoax.”
The real Stefanik, 36, released a joint statement with her husband, Matt Manda, demanding the blog’s retraction and an apology with an explanation from the paper on how it came to the decision to publish.
“As a young married couple, we have developed a thick skin over many years as we have become accustomed to repeated sexist smears in media coverage,” Stefanik and Manda wrote. “However, the Times Union’s decision to publish an article that mocked us as ‘childless’ is a new low and is truly heinous and wildly inappropriate. This shameful statement is not only inherently sexist, but also hateful, abusive, and heartless.”
The New York couple emphasized they hope to be parents soon and thanked supporters for their continued prayers and encouragement in recent years.
“Like millions of families, we hope and pray that we will be blessed by becoming parents,” they wrote.