Des Moines Register Deflects Blame After Reporter Dug Up Old Tweets Of Man Who Raised Money For Children’s Hospital

Late Tuesday night, after the man who raised more than $1 million for a children’s hospital was forced to apologize for seven-year-old tweets, the news outlet that unearthed the tweets attempted to deflect blame for their role in his negative coverage.
Media outlets have been under fire lately for using years-old tweets to get people fired or punished. It’s part of “cancel culture,” where people are punished for things they said years ago that either weren’t offensive at the time but are now, or were said when the person now being canceled was a minor.
Earlier this month, Carson King was highlighted on “ESPN College GameDay” for holding up a sign at a University of Iowa football game that read, “Busch Light supply need replenished. Venmo Carson-King-25.” King was rewarded with more than $1 million from strangers around the country.
Instead of taking the money for himself, King decided to donate it to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. When the Des Moines Register chose to write a story about King’s selflessness, its reporter, Aaron Calvin, searched through the 24-year-old’s social media history and found two racist tweets referencing jokes from comedian Daniel Tosh’s Comedy Central program “Tosh.0.” The outlet told King what they had discovered and he thanked them for finding the tweets and deleted them, offering remorse for his old statements.
The Register published information about the tweets anyway. King, in an effort to get ahead of the story, released a statement about the old tweets where he publicly apologized for things he said on social media when he was 16 years old. King’s public apology prompted Anheuser-Busch to cut ties with the man who raised more than $1 million for children, saying his seven-year-old social media posts “do not align with our values as a brand or as a company and we will have no further associations with him.”  The company said it would still donate more than $350,000 to the children’s hospital.
A backlash ensued against the Register since they started the ball rolling against one man’s extremely selfless gesture. The outlet attempted to deflect blame in a lengthy statement Tuesday night by noting King’s attempt to get ahead of the story.
“[T]he decision about how to use this information was preempted when King held a news conference to discuss his tweets and express his remorse,” the outlet said. “The news conference was covered by local television stations, which first reported on the racist posts and King’s remorse. After those stories aired, Busch Light’s parent company announced it would honor its pledge to the children’s hospital but would sever future ties with King.”
“That happened before the Register published its profile of King, which was still in the editing process.”
Before that, the Register explained that “a discussion” among several editors took place to decide whether to publish the old tweets, especially in light of King’s remorse and the fact that the tweets were irrelevant to his selflessness.
“Should that material be included in the profile at all?” the outlet asked. “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?”
“The counter arguments: The tweets were posted seven years ago, when King was 16. And he was remorseful. Should we chalk up the posts to a youthful mistake and omit the information?”
The outlet decided to publish the information. Simply asking King about the tweets was enough to prompt the fallout. Media outlets have been destroying people over past tweets, which King likely knew, prompting him to get ahead of the story.
Below is the Register’s full statement:

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