A reporter who exposed a viral hero’s old, offensive tweets has lost his job with the Des Moines Register after readers uncovered some offensive social media posts of his own.
It started when Iowa college football fan Carson King held up a sign asking for beer money on a national “College GameDay” broadcast and raised more than $1 million. He pledged to donate all of it to a children’s hospital, becoming a local hero.
Shortly thereafter, Des Moines Register reporter Aaron Calvin dug up two old, offensive tweets published by King in 2012 — when he was a sophomore in high school — and published a report on them. Anheuser-Busch, which had partnered with King, broke ties with him and published a statement saying he “had multiple social media posts that do not align with our values as a brand or as a company and we will have no further association with him.”
Readers who were angry about what they considered malevolent behavior by Calvin did some digging of their own into the reporter’s social media past and found numerous old tweets that “included derogatory language against black people, gay people, same-sex marriage, and women.”
Calvin is no longer with the Des Moines Register. It is unclear if he quit or was fired.