Iowa Journalist Who Reported Viral Star’s ‘Racist Jokes’ On Social Media Out Of A Job

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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A Des Moines Register journalist who reported two tweets he described as “racist jokes” from a viral star is out of a job after his own tweets surfaced, the news outlet announced Thursday evening.

Carson King, 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 the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. (RELATED: Carson King Gets His Own Busch Light Can After Raising More Than $675,000 For An Iowa Children’s Hospital)

Des Moines Register reporter Aaron Calvin reported on two tweets written by King when he was 16 while compiling information for a profile on him, 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 tweeting a slur for black people, making light of abusing women and mocking homosexual individuals, The Washington Post reported. Des Moines Register executive 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 print King’s past tweets, as well as information about the Register’s social media policy with regards to employees. Hunter also described the timeline of events related to when Busch Light cut ties with King and when the profile was actually published, noting many have said the “timeline is beside the point.”

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.

“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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