Last week when an armed gunman walked into the newsroom of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, there was an “oh, no, not again” feeling in the air. Another person not quite with it has a firearm and has no problem walking into a room and just randomly shooting.
As it turned out, that was not the case, and Jarrod Ramos had an ax to grind with the paper over a defamation lawsuit from 2012. However, before that was known, Rob Cox, the breaking news editor at Reuters, an international wire service, tweeted out something really ill-advised.
“This is what happens when @realDonaldTrump calls journalists the enemy of the people. Blood is on your hands, Mr. President. Save your thoughts and prayers for your empty soul,” Cox wrote in the deleted tweet, according to TheWrap.
After the facts were known, and once Cox had calmed down from the shock of the fifth column of the fourth estate being targeted for a shooting, he took to Twitter to apologize in thread form.
“When I saw the news today that a mass shooter had targeted the employees of a newspaper in Maryland I responded emotionally and inappropriately,” Cox wrote. “Though my comments were entirely personal, they were not in keeping with the Reuters Trust Principles and my own standards for letting facts, not snap judgments, guide my understanding.”
Cox continued: “My experience as a member of the community of Newtown, Connecticut in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, combined with the possibility that my colleagues in the press were being targeted, pushed me into a state of emotional distress.”
“I am sorry for my comments, which I quickly deleted and have disavowed, and especially remorseful if they did anything to distract from the thoughts and love we must send to the community of Annapolis,” Cox wrote.
A person in journalism with feelings, who knew.
Well, even with the apology, that first tweet is going to cost Cox. The Reuters Editor-In-Chief Steve Adler says the company does not condone such behavior and will take action.