Reuters ‘Taking Action’ After Editor Blames Donald Trump for Maryland Shooting

At the State House, letters and flowers form a memorial Friday, June 29, 2018, in Annapolis, Md., from Gov. Larry Hogan, state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch at the state house. The memorial is for the five dead members of the Capitol Gazette who …
AP Photo/Brian Witte

Thomson Reuters’ Breakingviews Global Editor Rob Cox could face punishment after blaming President Donald Trump for the deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland on Thursday.

“This is what happens when @realDonaldTrump calls journalists the enemy of the people,” Cox raged in a now-deleted tweet. “Blood is on your hands, Mr. President. Save your thoughts and prayers for your empty soul.”

Cox later conceded he jumped to conclusions by linking the shooting to the President.

“Fair enough to call me out for jumping to a conclusion about the motives here. Vilifying any category of people – journalists, migrants, conservatives, liberals etc – can incite violence,” he tweeted. “This one hits close to home. Genuinely saddened.”

The Reuters editor then apologized for his tweet and said his remarks aren’t consistent with the values of his employer.

“When I saw the news today that a mass shooter had targeted the employees of a newspaper in Maryland I responded emotionally and inappropriately,” Cox said. “Though my comments were entirely personal, they were not in keeping with the Reuters Trust Principles and my own standards for letting facts, not snap judgments, guide my understanding.”

“My experience as a member of the community of Newtown, Connecticut in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, combined with the possibility that my colleagues in the press were being targeted, pushed me into a state of emotional distress,” he added. “I am sorry for my comments, which I quickly deleted and have disavowed, and especially remorseful if they did anything to distract from the thoughts and love we must send to the community of Annapolis.”

Cox helped launch the Breakingviews vertical in 2000 and became its Global Editor in December of 2012.

Reuters’ Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler issued a statement in response to Cox’s comments, describing them as “inconsistent with the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles requiring journalists to maintain freedom from bias.”

“We do not condone his behavior and will take appropriate action,” said Adler.

Suspected gunman Jarrod Ramos, 38, killed five Capital Gazette employees after opening fire inside the newspaper’s office.


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