Gina Chon Resigns From Wall Street Journal After Emails Alleged Affair With Source
After enduring a devastating week of attacks against her professional reputation meant to derail her husband’s nomination to become the next ambassador to Iraq, former Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon sent an email to friends and supporters today defending their relationship.
Then she writes: “I also want to take a moment to correct what you may have heard or read about Brett and me, especially because you know us well – and that we are not who we are being misrepresented to be.”
Chon goes on to detail how McGurk never gave her classified information, and that some of the emails have been completely misinterpreted.
“In reality, he was joking about his ability to take me to the embassy cafeteria, where the ice cream sundae bar was one of the few treats for non-embassy employees in Baghdad,” she writes about one email that was reported as him taking her to a high level meeting.
Chon writes that she feels like “collateral damage” in the nomination process.
In the email, Chon defends her relationship with McGurk as well, saying they had fallen in love during what was one of the most violent periods of the war.
“But underneath the half-truths and outright lies is a fairly simple tale of two people who met in Baghdad, fell in love, got engaged and later married,” she writes. “In the process we formed a strong connection with Iraq, a place where we lost many friends.”
However, she also admits to making “mistakes” four years ago.
“I’m not trying to absolve myself of responsibility. People were hurt along the way and for that, I am truly sorry,” she writes. “I made stupid mistakes four years ago in Iraq while working for the Wall Street Journal and for that, I’m also sorry. I had to leave my job at a news organization I love and for that, I am heartbroken.”
McGurk, Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Iraq, has faced intense scrutiny in recent days over emails he exchanged with Chon while serving as a diplomat in Baghdad in 2008.
Chon, who covered Iraq at the time for the Wall Street Journal, agreed to resign from the Journal this week.
She covered Baghdad for the Wall Street Journal for over two years during some of the most dangerous and most deadly times in that conflict.
Chon is well respected and admired among the Baghdad press corp–a relatively small and tight knit group of journalists who were based in Iraq during the conflict.
Her colleagues who spent time with her in Baghdad have been horrified at the public criticism she’s been subjected to.
“I just feel so bad for her,” one correspondent at a rival newspaper tells BuzzFeed. “She does not deserve this.”
Although McGurk’s nomination appeared to be in jeopardy, the 39 year old received a much needed public endorsement from three former ambassadors to Baghdad this week, including from Ryan Crocker, the most highly respected diplomat currently serving in the State Department.
Find Thousands of Relevant Jobs
Read More: BuzzFeed