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Reporter Exposes Beer Guy's Tweets. Then, a Twist

Des Moines Register under police watch as investigation rolls
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2019 8:20 AM CDT
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The Register is now investigating "reports of inappropriate social media posts by one of our staffers."   (Getty Images/Poike)

(Newser) – A 24-year-old Iowa man asked people to Venmo him money for Busch beer and ended up raising more than $1 million for a local children's hospital. Then came a twist in that feel-good story: Carson King on Tuesday publicly apologized for years-old racist tweets uncovered by Des Moines Register reporter Aaron Calvin. But it's the Register that's now facing backlash. KWWL reports the Des Moines Police Department will have an "around the clock" presence outside of the Register's office following serious threats; an off-duty officer paid for by the paper will patrol inside. While she hasn’t addressed the threats, editor Carol Hunter has defended the decision to mention two racist tweets from 2012—one likened black mothers to gorillas—toward the end of Calvin's profile of King (which was published after King's apology).

"Shouldn't that be acknowledged to all the people who had donated money to King's cause or were planning to do so?" she writes. Even King defends the Register's reporting as "nothing but kind." But Becket Adams at the Washington Examiner only sees "vicious targeting," claiming it was the paper that contacted Anheuser-Busch (which will contribute the promised cash but has severed ties with King) to alert it to the tweets. Adams adds problematic tweets from Calvin in 2013—including one reading "f--- all cops"—are "the cherry on top of this garbage sundae." He adds that Calvin "made his Twitter account private Tuesday evening, but not before he went on a deleting spree whose irony was not lost on readers." The Register says it's investigating reports of a staffer's "inappropriate social media posts." (Read more Des Moines Register stories.)

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