Iowa’s largest newspaper is in the middle of a firestorm after publishing a report that dug up old, offensive tweets from a local man who raised over $1 million he then donated to charity.
A piece published by the Des Moines Register profiled a 24-year-old Iowan native, Carson King, who became a TV sensation last weekend after he held up a sign at a football game asking people to donate money to him. He requested that they donate the funds through Venmo so he could buy his “supply” of Busch Light. King went on to raise more than $1 million and donated the money to the University of Iowa’s Stead Children’s Hospital. Busch Light and Venmo pledged to match King’s fundraising efforts.
The newspaper report, however, included a “routine background check” of King’s social media history. Register reporter Aaron Calvin came across two racist jokes that dated back to 2012 when King was a 16-year-old high school student, “one comparing black mothers to gorillas and another making light of black people killed in the Holocaust.”
— Carson King (@CarsonKing2) September 21, 2019
I still can’t believe we hit A Million Dollars yesterday.. We’re sitting at over $1,065,000.00 in total contributions to @UIchildrens after @BuschBeer and @venmo match our contribution. #ForTheKids and we’re not done yet!
— Carson King (@CarsonKing2) September 23, 2019
King was asked about the tweets and immediately expressed remorse.
“That’s not something that I’m proud of at all,” King told the Register on Tuesday.
He appeared on local TV stations to apologize and said, “I am embarrassed and stunned to reflect on what I thought was funny when I was 16 years old.” In light of the tweets, Busch Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced that it was severing ties with King but promised to honor its pledge.
After the piece was published Tuesday evening, critics slammed the Register for digging up the tweets. The Register’s Executive Editor Carol Hunter issued a statement responding to the backlash and shed some light on the internal discussion about whether to include details about King’s social media posts.
“Should that material be included in the profile at all? The jokes were highly inappropriate and were public posts. Shouldn’t that be acknowledged to all the people who had donated money to King’s cause or were planning to do so?” Hunter wrote.
Hunter went on to defend the paper’s decision to include such information, noting that it was toward the bottom of the profile and not placed prominently at the top.
The Des Moines Register has been nothing but kind in all of their coverage, and I appreciate the reporter pointing out the post to me. I want everyone to understand that this was my decision to publicly address the posts and apologize. I believe that is the right thing to do.
— Carson King (@CarsonKing2) September 25, 2019
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – reporters who go through suddenly famous people’s old tweets for the sole purpose of finding something racist they said when they were 16, should be taken out back and shot. I’m not even exaggerating here. No trial, just instant capital punishment. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, worse than a reporter who does something like this. They are worse than child molesters and AIDS combined. They serve no purpose and simply must be destroyed like a soiled mattress.
Meet Aaron Calvin:
Metrosexual Eric Matthews is a reject who thinks that old tweets are news, which is why he used to work for BuzzFeed before taking the only job he could get a newspaper in the middle of nowhere that nobody cares about outside of Iowa.
This kid raised over $1 million for a fucking CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL because his Game Day sign went viral. Do you understand what a filthy, disgusting, useless maggot piece of shit you must be in order to see something so pure and so great, and ruin the person who’s doing it?
If you commit a crime when you’re 16 years old the media can’t report your name and your record gets expunged.
If you don’t commit a crime then anything you said or did on Twitter at the age of 16 is fair game for the media to report on though.
When he found the old tweets he easily could’ve gone to the kid and told him that he might want to delete them because if it catches on it would spread. But instead he wanted to make a name for himself in the media and this is how you do that in 2019 – you destroy other people to promote your own brand.
But metrosexual Eric Matthews is far from the only one to blame here. They admitted in their letter defending the smear job that this was a group decision that a bunch of adults sat down and agreed upon.
This is Executive Director Carol Hunter.
Our news is distributed by people who walk into beauty shops and say, “make me look like an Ethel.” Carol is so old she used to babysit Chuck Grassly. She grew up in the midwest during the 50’s and 60’s. I guarantee you that she has said PLENTY of racist shit before. It’s just not documented for the world to see.
“He did a routine background check on King that included a review of publicly visible social media posts, a standard part of a reporter’s work on a profile.”
The fact that these idiots think a reporter’s “routine” duties should included doing a full audit on everything you’ve ever said on social media, even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you’re raising money for a fucking CHARITY, is everything that is wrong with the mainstream media. They are the enemy of the people, and they exist to specifically go after young white straight men. How many Covington’s do you need to see before you realize this? They are not here to report the news, they are here to destroy people.
Shouldn’t that be acknowledged to all the people who had donated money to King’s cause or were planning to do so?
No, his jokingly racist tweets should not be acknowledged you old crusty hag. People are donating because they want to help sick kids, not because they support racist tweets by some random dude in 2012.
“Calvin asked about them and he expressed deep regret.”
Translation – we forced him to curl up and submit, because that’s just what we do. We have the power to ruin your life, and we also enjoy emasculating and humiliating you in order to force you to beg for mercy. People need to STOP apologizing to these idiots, and colleges need to blacklist any media organizations from their sporting events if their employees conduct business like this. These kids are paying a lot of money to go to school there, and the school should be protecting them from these savages.
“Editors decided we would include the information, but at the bottom of the story.”
The fact that they somehow think this makes it better is mind boggling. Like that’s not going to be the first excerpt everyone runs with because you hid it at the bottom.
Never mind the fact that they newspaper was promoting the shit out of this kid at first.
Oh, and fuck Busch for abandoning him too. I’d boycott them but I turned 21 a long time ago. They make the crappiest beer possible, sell it exclusively to college students, water it down in order to encourage binge drinking and date rape, and then abandon this kid they just partnered with to raise more than $1 million for a children’s hospital, because some dickless shithead with a notepad found a tweet from 7 years ago.
It’s just such an unlevel playing field for kids these days. They grew up with Twitter. They were dumbasses just like we were. They all said stupid shit on social media because they didn’t know any better. It was just how they communicated. I’ll be the first to admit – I made racist jokes when I was 16 all the time. Blow me if you don’t like it. I wasn’t racist, I was just 16 and trying to be funny and edgy. I was saying shit I couldn’t say around my family or my teachers. I was rebelling. It’s just not archived on the Internet because Twitter didn’t exist when I was that young.
But this story has a happy ending – it turns out Metrosexual Eric Matthews has some controversial tweets too:
Sweet, sweet Karma. This is the most satisfying plot twist of all time.
This piece of shit actually pinned the statement from the Des Moines Register at the top of his profile, retweeted the kid’s forced apology, and then bowed his head in shame and issued his own apology.
Just hours after they issued the press release they said that Aaron Calvin was now under investigation.
TMW you do a more thorough background search on the people you’re writing about than the people you’re hiring. How bout we just all agree that old tweets don’t matter?
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