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Reporter Who Covered Fundraising Star? Out of a Job

Aaron Calvin is 'no longer' with the Des Moines Register, editor writes
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2019 12:33 PM CDT
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Carson King, of Altoona, Iowa, snaps a selfie Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa, with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who holds a proclamation declaring Saturday as Carson King Day.   (AP Photo/David Pitt)

(Newser) – A Des Moines Register reporter who exposed a viral star's old, racist tweets—but who turned out to have ugly tweets of his own—will need to find a new job, KCCI reports. Details are unclear, but the paper's editor writes that he is "no longer with the Register." The reporter, Aaron Calvin, fell under scrutiny after writing about a man who raised over $1 million for a local children's hospital; Calvin's story noted that the fundraising hero, Carson King, had also posted racist jokes in his past, when he was 16. Then critics uncovered nasty Calvin tweets including, "f--- all cops." So the newspaper's editor, Carol King, wrote a piece Thursday responding to the apparent double standard.

"We've listened with an open mind to everyone, but especially Iowans, the people who are our neighbors, who care as much as we do about our state and everyone who lives here," she writes in the Register. "And we hear you: You're angry, you’re disappointed and you want us to understand that." She says the paper is reconsidering its "policies for backgrounding individuals in stories, with particular attention to acts committed by juveniles" and its "screening policy and social media vetting for employees." She notes the paper didn't quote King's tweets, and ran them at the bottom of the story after King had already discussed the tweets in a news conference. (Read the incredible story of how King raised the $1 million.)

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