UPDATE: Guardian Reporter Screams at Salena Zito at Presser for Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre, Blames Her Reporting on Trump for Shooting

(UPDATE at end. Elk ‘apologizes’ and blocks Zito.) Reporter Salena Zito claimed she was verbally attacked by a Guardian reporter, later identified as Mike Elk, who got in her face, called her an anti-Semite while blaming her for the Pittsburgh Synagogue massacre on Saturday because of her reporting on President Trump. Elk demanded she leave the scene near Synagogue where the press was gathered, according to Zito. Elk and Zito are both Pittsburgh natives who have achieved a national audience (of disparate reach and reputation) for their reporting.

Zito posted to Twitter a photo of Elk with the caption, “In middle of a somber moment at staging area while I was talking to a member of the Jewish community this reporter started screaming at me that I was an anti-Semite/that I caused shooting because I reports on Trump & to leave and kept screaming in my face to get out”

Salena Zito.

An hour-and-a-half after the attack, Zito wrote she was still upset, “Thank you. I’m still shaking what really upsets me is this is what happens when a lie travels. Or even worse when people believe what they want because it reinforces their side.”

The red badge seen on the front of Elk’s sweater matches one he posted Saturday morning from Pittsburgh as he said he was heading out to cover the massacre. As can be seen, Elk is also a union activist. On his Twitter profile, Elk says he is autistic and a labor reporter with the Guardian and Payday Report.

A photo posted by Elk one month ago shows him with his now bushy beard in better and shorter condition.

Elk posted several photos and reports from the scene, but has not commented on his alleged verbal attack on Zito.


Elk’s name is listed on the byline of the Guardian article headlined, Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting: Suspect Held After at Least Four Killed.  in New York,  in San Francisco and  in Pittsburgh

Sat 27 Oct 2018 First published on Sat 27 Oct 2018 

Elk posted he grew up in the area, “As a reporter, my first instincts this morning we’re to run to the scene of the massacre. Just now I stopped for lunch and the tears hit. I grew up in this neighborhood, I go out to eat here all the time. Are we gonna be targeted again?”

UPDATE: Elk posted an “apology”: “My apologies if you were offended by what I said. I grew up in this neighborhood and as a Jew, have long dealt w/ anti-antisemitism in Western PA. It was an emotional time to see Jews from my neighborhood murdered for merely being Jews. My apologies again if you were offended”

And then Elk blocked Zito on Twitter, wrote Zito, “I understand apologized by saying “if you were offended“ I can’t see his apology because he blocked me. Of course you offended me you screamed at me calling me an anti-Semite , blamed me for the shooting in front of people within the community & scared the heck out of me”

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