C-SPAN announced on Thursday that Steve Scully, the network’s senior executive producer and political editor, has been placed on “administrative leave” for lying about his Twitter account being hacked this month.
Scully apologized for what he said were “errors in judgment” in a statement.
“These were both errors in judgment for which I am totally responsible for,” Scully said. “I apologize.”
On October 8, Scully wrote a tweet to former Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci asking him what he should do about Trump at the presidential debate he was moderating the following week.”@Scaramucci should I respond to trump,”
When conservative media outlest questioned why Scully would seek advice from Scaramucci, he claimed that his account had been hacked and that he didn’t write the tweet.
Both C-SPAN and the Commission on Presidential Debates backed Scully.
“Steve Scully did not originate the tweet and believes his account has been hacked,” C-SPAN said in a statement.
Then earlier this week Scully admitted to C-SPAN and the commission that he did send the tweet after all.
“For several weeks, I was subjected to relentless criticism on social media and in conservative news outlets regarding my role as moderator for the second presidential debate, including attacks aimed directly at my family,” Scully said in his statement, and further explained why he sent the tweet.
“This culminated on Thursday, October 8,” Scully wrote “when I heard President Trump go on national television twice and falsely attack me by name. Out of frustration, I sent a brief tweet addressed to Anthony Scaramucci. The next morning when I saw that this tweet had created a new controversy, I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked. These were both errors in judgement for which I am totally responsible. I apologize.”
C-SPAN responded to Scully’s admission stating that it “understands that he made a serious mistake. We were very saddened by this news and do not condone his actions,” and subsequently placed him on administrative leave for an indefinite period of time, while leaving the door open for his return.
“During his 30 years at C-SPAN, Steve consistently demonstrated his fairness and professionalism as a journalist,” the network said in a statement. “He has built a reservoir of goodwill among those he has interviewed, fellow journalists, our viewers, and with us.” That’s why, the network said, “after some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN.”
If Scully had only sent the tweet as a DM — which was probably his intent instead of a public tweet — he would still be in good stead with C-SPAN and the public as a whole.