Life in the White House imitated Parks and Rec recently, as the identity of a staffer who ran an anonymous Twitter account critical of the administration emerged. But the real-life plot diverged from the show when the White House staffer, Jofi Joseph, was promptly fired instead of having a warm moment with Amy Poehler. Joseph, a director in the White House’s National Security Staff, ran the @NatSecWonk stream, popular in foreign policy circles for its unabashed trolling of the administration, its allies, and various other political types. “I’m a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me,” @NatSecWonk once tweeted, per The Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin, who broke the story. The account is closed, but a catalog of its activity remains, via Favstar.
Through @NatSecWonk, Joseph largely trafficked in the kind of snark only serious political and foreign policy wonks get or care about, hence its name. “Was Huma Abedin wearing beer goggles the night she met Anthony Wiener? Almost as bad a pairing as Samantha Powers and Cass Sunstein,” he once tweeted, “insulting a top Clinton aide, a then Congressman, and two White House senior officials in one tweet,” according to Rogin. But he also took on lower-hanging fruit such as “Sarah Palin and the rest of her white trash family.”
Politico reports the investigation into @NatSecWonk took months, and he was fired last week. “What started out as an intended parody account of DC culture developed over time into a series of inappropriate and mean-spirited comments,” a contrite Joseph told Politico in an e-mail. “I bear complete responsibility for this affair and I sincerely apologize to everyone I insulted.” But unlike on television, this ends with a lot of pissed off former colleagues, and someone losing his real-life job.