A Des Moines Register reporter who unearthed and published two controversial tweets from a viral hero is out of a job after his own racist tweets surfaced, the news outlet announced Thursday evening.
Carson King, a viral hero at 24, raised over $1 million after holding up a sign during ESPN’s “College GameDay” on Sept. 14 in Iowa. The sign asked for Venmo donations for his “Busch Light Supply. King donated the funds, which were matched by Venmo and Busch Light, to a local children’s hospital in Iowa.
Des Moines Register reporter Aaron Calvin unearthed two negative tweets written by King when he was 16 while compiling information for a profile on the viral hero, published Tuesday. The tweets were brought to King’s attention, and he apologized before the Register published the profile, including the unsavory comments.
Following backlash, it was discovered that Calvin had his own history of negative tweets, which included making fun of black people, joking about abusing women and mocking homosexuals, The Washington Post reported. Des Moines Register editor Carol Hunter wrote Thursday evening that Calvin is “no longer with the Register.”
“I want to be as transparent as possible about what we did and why, answer the questions you’ve raised and tell you what we’ve learned so far and what we’ll try to do better,” Hunter wrote. “For one, we’re revising our policies and practices, including those that did not uncover our own reporter’s past inappropriate social media postings. That reporter is no longer with the Register.”
The piece, filed under the outlet’s “opinion” section, added that “we took appropriate action because there is nothing more important in journalism than having readers’ trust.” The article went on to explain in length the decision to public King’s past tweets, as well as information about the Register’s social media policy with regards to employees.
The opinion piece was titled “We Hear You. We’re Angry. Here’s What We’re Doing About It.”
After Calvin’s own tweets were discovered, he deleted them and made his profile private.
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) September 25, 2019
“Hey just wanted to say that I have deleted previous tweets that have been inappropriate or insensitive. I apologize for not holding myself to the same high standards as the Register holds others,” Calvin tweeted early Wednesday morning before making his account private, WaPo reported.
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