The Des Moines Register has fired one of its reporters who pulled out the unsettling racist tweets from an Iowa resident who became internet famous when his solicitation for beer money went viral.
The fired reported, Aaron Calvin received extreme criticism for his act of bringing up the background of Carson King, the man who appeared on ESPN’s College GameDay holding a sign asking for beer money to be sent to an online payment account. King’s request touched a nerve with the public, and the money rolled in.
According to reports, King subsequently claimed that he would donate most of the funds to a local children’s hospital, and raised more than $1 million to date.
While the reporter from the Des Moines Register, Calvin, was writing a story on King and his activities, discovered some online posts from King’s teen years that quoted the TV show Tosh.0. King made the posts when he was 16-years-old. Calvin also called King for comment on his past activities. Long before the Des Moines Register story was published, King held an emotional and teary press conference and apologized for the teenage tweets, which all the local news stations attended and reported the news before the Register story was published.
The apology by King wasn’t enough, and the revelation killed a partnership with Anheuser-Busch, which ended its alliance with him upon learning of his past.
Soon after the Des Moines Register published its story, making reference to the racist tweets by King, the paper started receiving intense death threats as some readers felt that the act was an unjustified portrait that destroyed a worthy cause, according to reports. The investigations also reported that the article was supposed to be a feel-good act of kindness that unfortunately sparked outrage in Iowa.
After King’s apology story circulated in the public, many people found reporter’s Calvin’s background story quite disturbing. The Register agreed with the angry readers and fired Calvin and issued a proper lengthy explanation of its hiring and news-gathering process, and its subsequent discovery of sin within its own business.
Carol Hunter, the Register executive editor informed about their decision of firing reporter Calvin, by stating that he wants to be as transparent as possible with the public and that they have revised their policies and practices, including those that did not uncover their own reporter’s past inappropriate social media postings.
The Register did not specify what the posts from Calvin were. According to reports, Calvin’s posts made light of same-sex marriage, abuse of women, and contained a racial slur. Calvin apologized for the posts and deleted them, according to the Post.