Update, 4:55 p.m.: Alex Zdan has issued a very important correction in which he clarified that he never actually told the Trump troll to “fuck off,” but instead said “buzz off.” It’s a real “yanny or laurel” situation, because when you watch the TikTok with the “fuck off” caption, it really sounds like you’re hearing “fuck off.” But when you listen with your eyes closed, you can really make out those “zz” sounds. Ah well. You still told him what’s what, Zdan. Good for you. You can take your quarter back from the swear jar now.
Joe Biden was officially elected the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, November 7, and already, reporters are righteously standing up for freedom of the press and journalistic truth after a presidential administration in which disinformation campaigns were a regular feature. Oh, and apparently we finally get to say “fuck” on daytime news now, so that’s rad. New Jersey’s News 12 station sent politics reporter Alex Zdan to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to report live from outside its Statehouse today, where Pennsylvanians from both sides had gathered. In a clip that TikTok user @rachelsilva473 captured as it aired on TV, a man in a Trump mask and shirt approached Zdan from behind, on camera. Zdan turns around and him and asks, “How you doin’, pal?” and the Trump supporter answers, “Is this real news or fake news?” Without skipping a beat, Zdan gently says “fuck off,” turns back to the camera smiling, and continues on reporting as though nothing happened.
Maybe Zdan did it because he knew he won’t have to spend the next four years dealing with any more of this from the top level of government. Maybe he did it because, as his Twitter bio says, he’s “Jersey born.” Either way, it’s a brilliant demonstration of how to shut down “fake news” trolls with speed and efficacy. That’s one small FCC fine for News 12 New Jersey, one giant leap for mankind.