The Des Moines Register reporter who got Anheuser-Busch to cancel Carson King over old tweets has been fired for his own old tweets.
As Breitbart News reported on Wednesday, the whole thing started about two weeks ago as a goof about King holding up a sign on ESPN College Game Day that read “Busch Light supply need replenished. Venmo Carson-King-25.” As the money poured in, King, who is only 24, decided to turn the national response into something good. Rather than enrich himself with the national response, King used his sudden Internet fame to raise more than a million dollars for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
Anheuser-Busch and Venmo both promised to match his donation.
But because the media are evil, the Des Moines Register decided to ruin King’s life with some oppo-research, and what they found were some racist tweets from 2012.
In 2012, King was only 16-years-old and still a sophomore in high school.
Knowing the hit was coming, King made a public apology and to its everlasting disgrace, Anheuser-Busch cut ties with him.
And then along came Karma.
After King issued his apology, the good people of the Internet struck back, and Aaron Calvin, the so-called reporter who wrote the Register‘s hit-piece, was found to have his own Old Tweet Problem, including tweets where he used the word “nigga.”
And now Calvin has been fired.
And while this is a form of justice, everything is still stupid.
As far as the reporting of the tweets goes, King’s tweets are out there; they are real, and somebody was probably going to find them eventually. Certainly, it would be nice, if like your juvenile criminal record, your juvenile social media record could be expunged, but that is not the way the world works.
But what was the Des Moines Register supposed to do after coming across the tweets? Not report them? It’s a tough call. At the same time, though, why in the hell was the Register digging into his old tweets? That’s something I never would have done to a Carson King, to someone who was not out canceling and blacklisting others.
My overall point, though, is that the real problem is our unforgiving society.
America should have shrugged at the news of these tweets, and while most of us did, social media is filled with these hideous Woke Puritans who terrorize corporations like Anheuser-Busch and who delight in holding people up to the howling mob as they pull their wings off.
The correct answer to all of this is not to fire someone else over old tweets; it’s that we all grow up and stop caving to the mob, stop demanding purity, stop destroying people forever over words and thoughts.
At the same time, though, the only way to sue for peace is to let the media know that we will hold them to their own rules.
Unfortunately, the stupid Des Moines Register doesn’t get it. In a stupid column published Thursday, the stupid newspaper offered up only stupid excuses for every stupid thing it did:
I’ll discuss some of the steps in our decision-making later. But rest assured, we’re examining all of our processes with fresh eyes. In response to this week’s conversations, we’re focused on:
- Our policies for backgrounding individuals in stories, with particular attention to acts committed by juveniles and to the newsworthiness of that information years later.
- The shift in social media culture and how activities on those platforms reflect upon a person’s newsworthiness in general.
- Our screening policy and social media vetting for employees.
Some of you wonder why journalists think it’s necessary to look into someone’s past. It’s essential because readers depend on us to tell a complete story.
You see what the Register did there…?
Instead of leading, instead of lamenting the state of the cancel culture, instead of learning a lesson from all this horse shit, the Register is justifying what it did. Not only that, but we also learned that it spends more time digging into the past of a guy who raised over a million dollars for charity than it does its own reporters.
How difficult would it have been for the Register to show a little moral leadership here and call for an end to this madness? How hard would it be for the paper to say, “You know what? Tweets from when the subject was a minor are now off limits“?
How hard would it be to institute a policy that says, “Regardless of the person’s age, if the subject’s social media post is more than five-years-old, was a one-off in a moment of bad taste or passion, and there is no other history of this, we’re going to leave it alone“?
Some good might still come out of this. Maybe the media will be a little more circumspect in the future before pulling the trigger on someone’s life over a moment that in no way defines who that person is now.
And then there’s this… Stepping in for the corporate quislings at Anheuser-Busch is the Geneseo Brewing Company out of Genesco, Illinois, which has named one of its beers “Carson King” and will donate $1 of every pint sold to that children’s hospital.