The Des Moines Register has fired a reporter who resurfaced controversial tweets from a public figure after his own tweets inspired online condemnation and accusations of a double standard.
Aaron Calvin said he discovered the tweets in a "routine background check" of Carson King, a 24-year-old who was able to raise more than a million dollars for University of Iowa's Stead Children's Hospital after scribbling a humorous sign that went viral.
King apologized for the tweets he sent when he was 16 years old, but he lost the backing of Anheuser-Busch InBev, who had been supporting his charity campaign.
On Thursday, Calvin was fired.
"We've heard from hundreds of you about our Carson King coverage. We took appropriate action because there's nothing more important than having readers' trust," read a statement from Carol Hunter, the executive editor of the Register.
"King's generosity is a great story, and the Stead Family Children's Hospital is a great cause. The story shifted Tuesday evening, however, when King held a news conference with local TV stations to acknowledge racist tweets from his past, and Busch Light, one of the companies bankrolling his fundraising, distanced itself from him," Hunter explained.
She went on to say that they will be reviewing the "screening policy and social media vetting" guidelines for their employees.
Here's a video of pre-canceled Carson King:
College Student's Joke Turns Into Viral Fundraiser For Children's Hospital | NBC Nightly News www.youtube.com