The Des Moines Register is facing backlash for exposing the years-old racist tweets of an Iowa man who raised $1 million for charity.
Des Moines Register reporter Aaron Calvin profiled Iowa native Carson King after he became an Internet sensation for appearing on camera in the bleachers of a football game with a sign asking viewers to donate money to him via Venmo so that he could buy more Busch Light beer.
King eventually received over $1 million and decided to donate the money to the University of Iowa’s Stead Children’s Hospital, and both Busch Light and Venmo vowed to match his donation.
Towards the end of the profile, Calvin mentioned that the paper had uncovered two racist jokes from King’s Twitter account dating to 2012, when King was 16 years old and still in high school. One compared black mothers to gorillas, while the other made light of black people killed in the Holocaust.
King expressed shock over the tweets and apologized for them. Busch Light parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev said it will sever ties with King, although the company will still match his pledge to the children’s hospital.
It was subsequently discovered that Calvin, the reporter who covered the story, has made numerous racist and offensive comments on his Twitter feed.
The Des Moines Register faced intense backlash on social media for including the tweets in its profile, prompting its editors to release a statement on Tuesday evening explaining their decision to include the tweets in the article. The paper also said it has commenced an investigation into Calvin’s past racist tweets.