The Mirror

HACKED?! Angry Mom Of Politico Reporter Denies Writing Letter About Mike Elk

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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This is a warning to anyone with a mother on gmail.

LOCK UP HER ACCOUNT IMMEDIATELY. And then maybe set her up in the family room with an all-day marathon of “The Golden Girls.”

In a plot worse than a Lifetime movie, the Politico mother who, ahem, allegedly penned a nasty letter to the Pacific Standard about ex-Politico labor reporter Mike Elk is now denying she wrote the letter. Politico and Elk parted ways in August after about a year of employment during which Elk continuously tried to unionize his newsroom.

The Mirror is going to tread lightly with that word allegedly here, since there is no proof whatsoever that the mother, Terri Hayes, did not send the letter. In fact, the daughter, Politico Pro reporter Kelsey Hayes, admits that the email account from which the letter was sent is indeed her mother’s email.

She insists, however, that her mother didn’t write the email because her mother told her so. And well, that’s a good enough explanation for her. So who’s to blame….the gardener?

Watch as Elk attempts to get to the bottom of the mystery. (For explanation purposes, Matt Wuerker is Politico‘s cartoonist. The Mirror will not reprint the mother’s email address, but good God, woman, get a hold of your account.)

MIKE ELK: Is your mother named Terri C. Hayes and is her email [REDACTED] or is this a complete fabrication? I don’t get why someone would forge this.

KELSEY HAYES: That is her email, however, I literally just got off the phone with her and she stands by what she told me already: She did not write it and has no idea where it came from. It includes stuff she would know nothing about, it references a story I never read from a site I’ve never heard of, much less sent to her, and uses a job title I haven’t used for over six months. I don’t get why someone would fabricate it either, but I believe her when she says she didn’t write it. And on that note, I’m done talking about it.

MIKE ELK: Would someone have some sort of animosity to play some sort of prank? This is all seems very Matt Wuerker level sketchy lie.

KELSEY HAYES: I honestly have no idea. I don’t want to implicate anyone in it. All that matters to me is that my mother didn’t write it. She had no idea what the hell I was talking about when I asked her about it, she had never heard of the site to which she supposedly sent the letter (nor had I) and I had her change her Gmail password in case she’d been hacked. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a dead issue.

MIKE ELK: This is Matt Wuerker level bullshit. You owe me an apology at the least. Why would someone invent this and happen to send it from your email address? It makes no sense. Looks like you are lying just like Matt Wueker lied.

KELSEY HAYES:  have no idea what beef you have with Wuerker, but it has nothing to do with me. I don’t know what’s going on here, but I believe my mother and there are enough red flags in the letter (wrong job title, stuff she wouldn’t know, a site neither of us has ever heard of) for it to be suspicious. If you don’t believe me, you don’t. But I have nothing more to say about it.

MIKE ELK: Wuerker has been going around both in public settings at the Atlantic and on Twitter claiming that I lied about the violations of my rights under ADA and should shut up. We know what people were saying down there at POLITICO, we know what a bully culture it is there. Why dont you just own up to this email that clearly came from your mother? Why doesn’t anyone at all saying anything about the wholesale violations of my rights at POLITICO say anything at all about why that company was forced to settle with me? Do you know what its like to have worker blow their brains out in the middle of a long labor dispute you are covering? Do you know this feeling at all? Why hasn’t anyone at POLITICO spoken up? Instead, people are going around spreading fucking dumbass liars and rumors about my mental health that are [not] backed up in legal fact.