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Ousted Teen Vogue editor Alexi McCammond rejoins Axios

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Ousted Teen Vogue editor Alexi McCammond has been re-hired by Axios months after she was forced to resign at Conde Nast when anti-Asian tweets she wrote in 2011 sparked a backlash among staff.  

Axios announced on Thursday that McCammond, who was previously hired by the outlet in 2017, would rejoin its team as a national political reporter and will work on the 2022 midterm elections.  

‘Alexi McCammond is an accomplished journalist and professional. We’re excited and proud that she is returning to Axios,’ Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei said in the press release. 

McCammond was covering the Biden administration’s presidential campaign for Axios when she met her boyfriend TJ Ducklo who became a deputy press secretary in the White House. Earlier this year, Ducklo was suspended for a week from his role after he threatened a Politico reporter when she asked questions about their relationship. 

In March, McCammond was ousted from her newly appointed editor-in-chief position at Teen Vogue. In the interim, she has been working at NBC News and often appeared on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’ 

Ousted Teen Vogue editor Alexi McCammond (pictured) has been re-hired by Axios months after she was fired by Conde Nast when anti-Asian tweets she wrote in 2011 caused backlash among staff

Axios announced on Thursday that McCammond, (pictured) who was previously hired by the outlet in 2017, would rejoin its team as a national political reporter and will work on the 2022 midterm elections

Axios announced on Thursday that McCammond, (pictured) who was previously hired by the outlet in 2017, would rejoin its team as a national political reporter and will work on the 2022 midterm elections

In May, McCammond joined Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski to discuss her story for NBC’s Know Your Value, in which she explains the impact black women will likely have on the 2022 midterm elections.

Brzezinski referenced the Teen Vogue debacle while welcoming her.

McCammond responded by admitting the drama over her appointment and rapid departure from the Condé Nast online magazine had been ‘painful.’ 

Brzezinski said: ‘Alexi, it’s great to have you back on Morning Joe. And for our viewers, you may have heard of Alexi and her story, because we talked about her, right here on Morning Joe.

‘It was a very lengthy segment about cancel culture and forgiveness. And if you missed it, you can see that on our website,’ she said. ‘And Alexi since you weren’t there, we were talking about you. Before you get into your new article, would you like to say anything?’

McCammond covered Joe Biden's presidential campaign as a reporter for politics website Axios, and was serving as a contributor for NBC and MSNBC, before she was offered the editor-in-chief position at Teen Vogue. But just two weeks later, officials for Condé Nast, which owns Teen Vogue, announced that she had resigned in light of racist tweets she wrote in 2011

McCammond covered Joe Biden’s presidential campaign as a reporter for politics website Axios, and was serving as a contributor for NBC and MSNBC, before she was offered the editor-in-chief position at Teen Vogue. But just two weeks later, officials for Condé Nast, which owns Teen Vogue, announced that she had resigned in light of racist tweets she wrote in 2011

Alexi McCammond admitted her resignation from Teen Vogue had been 'painful' while chatting with Mika Brzezinski during her first assignment since

Alexi McCammond admitted her resignation from Teen Vogue had been ‘painful’ while chatting with Mika Brzezinski during her first assignment since

McCammond's first report was about black female politicians tipped to do well in the 2022 midterm elections. It also appeared on NBC's Know Your Value website

McCammond’s first report was about black female politicians tipped to do well in the 2022 midterm elections. It also appeared on NBC’s Know Your Value website 

‘First, Mika, thank you so, so much for having me on this morning,’ McCammond said in response, ‘It’s so good to see you, even though we’re not together in person.

‘And I appreciate you even asking that question. The last few weeks have been really painful, to be sure, not just for me, but for many folks in the AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) community and others who were hurt by all of this. 

‘And I totally understand that,’ she said. ‘And I’m just really grateful to have the opportunity to be reporting again on the issues that I care about, to really try to lift up minority voices and the voices of folks from marginalized communities who might not get the coverage that they deserve otherwise.’

McCammond then shared her report about black female politicians to watch ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. It also appeared on the Know Your Value section of NBC News’s website. 

Know Your Value is inspired by a self-help book of the same name written by Brzezinski, and is described as ‘an empowered community helping women to grow their career, form healthy habits and reach their full potential.’

‘I became a journalist to help lift up the stories and voices of our most vulnerable communities,’ McCammond said in a statement back in March. ‘As a young woman of color, that’s part of the reason I was so excited to lead the Teen Vogue team in its next chapter.’ 

Prior to the Teen Vogue outcry, McCammond was named ‘Emerging Black Journalist of the Year’ by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2019.

She covered Joe Biden’s presidential campaign as a reporter for politics website Axios, and was serving as a contributor for NBC and MSNBC, before she was offered the editor-in-chief position at Teen Vogue.

But just two weeks later, officials for Condé Nast, which owns Teen Vogue, announced that she had resigned in light of racist tweets she wrote in 2011. 

Bosses initially resisted calls to fire McCammond, but were spooked when advertisers including Ulta Beauty withdrew ads from Teen Vogue over the appointment. 

They included a message saying ‘Outdone by Asian #whatsnew,’ another that read ‘now googling how not to wake up with swollen Asian eyes,’ and a third tweet attacking a ‘stupid Asian T.A.’ (teaching assistant)

‘After speaking with Alexi this morning, we agreed that it was best to part ways, so as to not overshadow the important work happening at Teen Vogue,’ Stan Duncan, the chief people officer at Condé Nast, which owns Teen Vogue, said in an internal email obtained by The New York Times as her departure was announced. 

At around the same time, McCammond took to Twitter saying she ‘decided to part ways with Condé Nast.’

‘My past tweets have overshadowed the work I’ve done to highlight the people and issues that I care about – issues that Teen Vogue has worked tirelessly to share with the world – and so Condé Nast and I have decided to part ways,’ she wrote.

‘I should not have tweeted what I did and I have taken full responsibility for that.’

Diana Tsui, the editor director for food magazine The Infatuation, found her old tweets and posted them on Instagram when she was announced as the new editor in chief for Teen Vogue

Diana Tsui, the editor director for food magazine The Infatuation, found her old tweets and posted them on Instagram when she was announced as the new editor in chief for Teen Vogue

McCammond had previously apologized for the tweets in 2019 and deleted them.

Diana Tsui, the editor director for food magazine The Infatuation, however, managed to find the tweets and post them to her Instagram, saying ‘Let’s talk about  Condé Nast HR and this questionable hire for Teen Vogue EIC.’

Within days, more than 20 staff members at Teen Vogue used their personal social media accounts to say they had made a complaint to company leaders about McCammond’s hiring in light of these tweets.

When she heard this, McCammond once again apologized, writing on Twitter, ‘There’s no excuse for perpetuating those awful stereotypes in any way. I am so sorry to have used such hurtful and inexcusable language.’  

McCammond had been vetted before Condé Nast hired her, The New York Times reports, and top executives were aware of the tweets.

Anna Wintour, chief content officer  and global editorial director of Vogue, allegedly discussed them with leaders of color in the company before offering her the job.

Condé Nast officials told The New York Times they were not aware of a photo circulating on right-wing media of McCammond, right, in a Native American costume for Halloween

Condé Nast officials told The New York Times they were not aware of a photo circulating on right-wing media of McCammond, right, in a Native American costume for Halloween 

The Condé Nast executives decided to overlook them, a company executive told the Times, because they felt she was ‘an impressive candidate’ and ‘her 2019 apology showed she had learned from her mistakes.’

They did not, however, know of another photo that circulated on right-wing media showing McCammond wearing a Native American costume at a Halloween party because it had been deleted.

Her boyfriend TJ Ducklo, 32, was hit with his own scandal after being forced to resign as the White House’s deputy press secretary in February over threats to a female reporter.

The couple initially met in 2019, when McCammond began covering President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign for Axios. At the time, Ducklo was Biden’s press secretary. 

Ducklo, who has battled stage four lung cancer, stepped down after it emerged he’d threatened to ‘destroy’ Politico reporter Tara Palmeri.

He issued the threat after Palmeri she contacted him about his romance with McCammond during last year’s presidential campaign and highlighted the potential conflict of interest. 

McCammond's boyfriend TJ Ducklo, 32, (right) was hit with his own scandal after being forced to resign as the White House's deputy press secretary in February over threats to a female reporter

McCammond’s boyfriend TJ Ducklo, 32, (right) was hit with his own scandal after being forced to resign as the White House’s deputy press secretary in February over threats to a female reporter

McCammond was working for Axios, covering Joe Biden's campaign for president, when she was offered the editor in chief position at Teen Vogue

McCammond was working for Axios, covering Joe Biden’s campaign for president, when she was offered the editor in chief position at Teen Vogue

Teen Vogue social media manager Christine Davitt, pictured, came under fire for her use of racist language in the wake of McCammond's departure

Teen Vogue social media manager Christine Davitt, pictured, came under fire for her use of racist language in the wake of McCammond’s departure 

Versha Sharma, pictured, has since been announced as McCammond's replacement at Teen Vogue

Versha Sharma, pictured, has since been announced as McCammond’s replacement at Teen Vogue 

After McCammond’s departure, Teen Vogue was hit by a second hypocrisy scandal after racist tweets by social media editor Christine Davitt emerged.  

In May, the company announced that it had hired Versha Sharma from NowThis News to be its new top editor. 

Sharma has worked at NowThis since 2014, as managing editor of the social media-focused news organization. In addition to overseeing daily news, video and social platforms, she directed US election coverage over four election cycles, according to Conde Nast.

Her appointment took effect on May 24. 

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