The Tallahassee Democrat disciplined Capitol beat reporter James Call over his tweet about former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi.
In a Feb. 18 “overdue public apology,” Tallahassee Democrat editor William L. Hatfield wrote that the paper disciplined Call and deleted his tweet, but didn’t indicate what the tweet said. However, he noted that “a bipartisan group of women lawmakers” sent a complaint calling the tweet “biased, insulting and demeaning.”
iMediaEthics asked Call if he has been in touch with Bondi over his remark. Call told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “Please refer to the apology I tweeted and my statement in the editor’s note.” iMediaEthics has also written to Hatfield.
The tweet, according to Florida Politics, was in response to Bondi’s comments about Pres. Trump’s impeachment and read: “It’s amazing how some people can leverage blonde hair and blue eyes in their profession.”
The paper’s apology also included an apology from Call reading: “I first and foremost apologize to Pam Bondi. It was a mistake for me to post that. I’ve offended people when I did not intend to, and for causing that offense I’m deeply troubled and feel horrible. It was insulting, unprofessional, and I deeply regret it.”
Call also tweeted a link to Hatfield’s apology with the following message: “An unconditional apology to everyone for a thoughtless tweet I posted. It was not my intent to offend but I did. I am sorry. To those who have expressed dismay at the remark I pledge to work to show it was not an accurate reflection of my character.”