Media organization Newsweek used accused pedophile and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert to criticize President Donald Trump this week.
In a controversial article published Thursday, Newsweek asked Hastert, who recently served a 13-month sentence for a bank fraud conviction linked to his attempt to silence a former student he sexually abused during his time as a high school wrestling coach, to explain “what’s wrong with Trump’s Congress.”
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 12, 2017
Newsweeks’ use of Hastert to discuss congressional gridlock and the Trump presidency was immediately castigated by countless people on social media.
But definitely, let's hear his take on Congress! https://t.co/5dHNscVe1O
— John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico) October 13, 2017
Dennis Hastert is a former House Speaker. He's Newsweek's source for authoritative information and advice….
…..and a SERIAL PEDOPHILE. https://t.co/ZEVxUX6LO7
— Rep. Steven Smith (@RepStevenSmith) October 13, 2017
— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) October 13, 2017
Dennis Hastert raped children. Serially. Children he coached who trusted him.
In case you were tempted to treat him as a pundit.
— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) October 12, 2017
This is a weird way to spell "child molester Dennis Hastert" https://t.co/vc8BxJAbYB
— Bitter Script Reader (@BittrScrptReadr) October 12, 2017
— William Craddick (@williamcraddick) October 13, 2017
In the face of mounting condemnation, the article’s author, Alexander Nazaryan, attempted to defend his actions by labeling Hastert a mere felon.
By that logic, people who have committed a serious felony should never be allowed to re-enter society. You want to go down that route? https://t.co/pAJofEFbpp
— Alexander Nazaryan (@alexnazaryan) October 12, 2017
Unsurprisingly, Nazaryan’s response did little to quell outrage over the editorial decision.
People who molest children. Really? Have him babysit your children if you feel hes paid his dues.
— Elizabeth Bostick (@bethbos1) October 13, 2017
could you get Jared Fogel's thoughts on Subway's rebrand please? Maybe see what OJ thinks about the Bills? Click bait hack.
— DrewInDC (@ThaDestroyah) October 12, 2017
You should call Jerry Sandusky next and get his opinions on the future college football. Since your a fan of these criminals
— Hudson. (@BasicWhiteGay) October 12, 2017
Are you gonna reach out to OJ for his commentary on Manson's next parole hearing?
— Donald Trump's Comb (@DonTrumpsComb) October 13, 2017
Despite criticism from countless journalists and others, the article remains active on Newsweek’s website.
A federal judge in Chicago described Hastert as a serial “child molester” during his sentencing last year.
Although Hastert has not openly admitted to molesting children, the former house speaker’s counsel released a statement last year claiming Hastert was sorry for his “trangressions.”
“Mr. Hastert acknowledges that as a young man, he committed transgressions for which he is profoundly sorry,” the statement read. “He earnestly apologizes to his former students, family, friends, previous constituents and all others affected by the harm his actions have caused.”
Flashback: Secrets of The Dennis Hastert Indictment