Marc Caputo of Politico showed what he thinks of President Trump’s followers with a series of tweets Wednesday about the president’s rally the previous night in Tampa.
It started when Jim Acosta, chief White House correspondent for CNN, tweeted footage of being jeered by Trump supporters and said he was “very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt.”
Caputo responded with a tweet that said, “If you put everyone’s mouths together in this video, you’d get a full set of teeth.”
When others on Twitter began to take him on – “that was just at the expense of others, which I think isn’t quite so funny,” one said – Caputo doubled down.
“Oh no! I made fun of garbage people jeering at another person as they falsely accused him of lying and flipped him off. Someone fetch a fainting couch.”
When another Twitter user criticized him for taking part in the same behavior he condemned – “Come on Marc. They are beyond classless but you don’t have to add to the very behavior you’re complaining about,” he responded, “I’d argue I was more clever.”
When still another wrote: “The self-styled ‘guardians of democracy’ ladies and gentlemen,” Caputo responded, “Snowflake has a sad.”
Then the damage control began. Caputo issued three tweets:
“I need to apologize for tweeting caustic remarks after seeing a reporter berated & abused. Hate begets hate. My comments referred ONLY to those jeering and swearing at the man, not a broad swath of people. But the fault is mine for causing confusion and feeding anger,” read the first.
“In the age of social media, where divisiveness serves no decent purpose, these flippant comments on my part only made things worse and contributed to a cycle of rage that I should not have inflamed further. So I’m sorry,” read the second.
“While it’s usually a good idea to just delete tweets that are wrong, I own this and the criticism (both accurate and misleading) that has followed. I’ll do better. Here they are,” he wrote, then provided a link to the entire exchange.
Caputo obviously was not inclined to apologize until his bosses suggested it would be a good idea.
Politico released a statement that read:
“We will always defend a fair and free press and support colleagues who are treated unfairly or in an abusive manner, but contributing to an already divisive environment with tweets such as this undermines that cause. This tweet does not meet our standards, and we addressed it with Marc. We should all aspire to do better.”
Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit summed up the feelings of many on the right about this.
“Yes, this is what the press thinks about Trump supporters, and this now-deleted tweet was an honest reflection of that. It’s totally hypocritical for people like Acosta to clutch their pearls about Trump’s ‘rhetoric’ given how they treat, and talk about, his supporters. And as for their fear that Trump’s ‘rhetoric’ might lead to violence, note how they skip right over the fact that Democrat James Hodgkinson shot GOP Congressman Steve Scalise as he tried to massacre the Republican House leadership.
“What’s worse is Caputo’s actually one of the better political reporters, willing to report stuff that hurts Democrats and helps Republicans without sweeping it under the rug. That’s good, but if he thinks this way, what are the rest like?”