ABC-affiliate WLS-TV suspended sports anchor Mark Giangreco after he tweeted that Pres. Donald Trump is a “cartoon lunatic.”
According to the New York Daily News, Giangreco’s Feb. 19 now-deleted tweet read: “So obvious, so disturbing. America exposed as a country full of simpletons who allowed this cartoon lunatic to be ‘elected.'”
His tweet was a reply to a Toronto Star sports columnist Bruce Arthur, who had tweeted Trump is a “hateful ignorant corrupt simpleton supported by 87% of Republicans.” iMediaEthics contacted the Toronto Star to see if newspaper has received complaints over Arthur’s tweet, but editor Michael Cooke and public editor Kathy English both said they haven’t.
Donald Trump: a hateful ignorant corrupt simpleton supported by 87% of Republicans
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) February 19, 2017
“Known as much for his sarcasm as for his sharp suits, Giangreco, 64, has been one of Chicago’s highest paid and most popular sportscasters for 35 years. He joined ABC 7 in 1994 after 12 years at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5,” Feder explained.
Chicago media blogger Roger Feder reported Feb. 23 that the station said Giangreco would be on unpaid suspension for “multiple weeks,” adding that:
“Mark Giangreco’s Twitter comments are not in line with ABC 7 Chicago’s non-partisan editorial standards. We’ve reviewed the matter and are taking the appropriate action.”
iMediaEthics has contacted WLS to ask how long the suspension will last and if the suspension was exclusively in response to the Trump tweet. Giangreco’s agent declined to comment to iMediaEthics.
Feder noted that Giangreco was suspended in 2004 for a week after jokes about “Detroit going up in flames after the Pistons won the NBA Championship.” Giangreco also got in hot water for a 2014 on-air graphic suggesting suicide.
The Chicago Tribune wrote that Giangreco also recently deleted a tweet to a former Major League Baseball pitcher saying “let’s change Fox News to Nazi News.”
Giangreco also upset former NFL Chicago Bears player Walter Payton when he said in 1999 Payton looked “shriveled up.” Payton, who died later that year of bile duct cancer, had a fatal liver disease he had not made public yet, the Tribune explained.
Hat Tip: Steve Bien-Aime
UPDATE: 2/28/2017 4:49 PM EST With English comment.