JTA Twitter 50: Talia Lavin


Talia Lavin – @chick_in_kiev

Years before Talia Lavin accumulated a critical mass of Twitter followers, CNN declared, “If there’s a trolling hall of fame, Talia Lavin deserves to be inducted.”

That’s because Lavin, appearing on “Jeopardy!” in 2015, got the show’s famously straitlaced host Alex Trebek to say “Turd Ferguson” — Burt Reynolds’ absurd alter ego in the “SNL” version of the game show.

These days, she’s one of the most badass progressive voices on Twitter, where she posts about everything from Tinder dating to feminism to borscht to the religious right to the comedian Sacha Baron Cohen to being subjected to online hate.

She was targeted viciously after she misidentified a wounded Marine-turned-ICE-analyst’s tattoo as a Nazi symbol. U.S. Immigrations and Customs enforcement released a statement criticizing Lavin by name.

Amid the firestorm, Lavin resigned from her position as a fact checker at The New Yorker magazine. She was previously a Fulbright scholar in Ukraine, and held editorial posts at JTA, Lilith magazine and The Huffington Post. In July, Lavin joined the liberal nonprofit Media Matters for America as a researcher on far-right extremism.

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