Politico cybersecurity reporter Eric Geller exited the publication after a tweet blasting the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI while sharing news of his death on social media.
Geller wrote on Twitter, “Homophobic pedophile protector and Hitler Youth alumnus dead at 95,” while sharing a link to a news report on Pope Benedict’s death on December 31st.
After Geller’s tweet raised a few eyebrows and made headlines, he took down the tweet and wrote, “I deleted the tweet about Pope Benedict that was offensive and in poor judgment.”
Brad Dayspring, Politico’s vice president of marketing and communications, weighed in after Geller’s tweet stirred some outrage on social media. Mary Margaret Olohan, a senior reporter for the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, replied to the tweet, “@politico come get your ‘reporter.’”
Nathan Brand, a comms director for the Republican Party, then tagged Dayspring and asked, “does this conduct cross any lines at Politico?”
“Yes. The tweet is a clear violation of our social media policy and was both inaccurate and offensive,” replied Dayspring to Brand.
“Violations of company policy—including the social media policy—are subject to an internal review process. Without commenting further on this specific matter (as it is under review), violations of company policy could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination,” Dayspring added.
The Daily Beast noted a Fox News report that, days after Dayspring’s tweets, “Geller changed his Twitter bio to remove any reference to Politico.” Additionally, on his personal website, he now refers to his time at Politico in the past tense.”
A source familiar with the situation confirmed to Mediaite that Geller is indeed no longer with Politico, although it remains unclear whether he resigned or was terminated.
While Geller’s exit from Politico made unflattering headlines at Fox News and the Daily Mail, Gawker took a decidedly different, more controversial approach. “POLITICO PARTS WAYS WITH REPORTER AFTER ACCURATE TWEET ABOUT THE DEAD POPE,” blared the Gawker headline for an article that included:
Notably, the controversial Pope, who died on New Year’s Eve, was a Hitler Youth alumnus who spent the bulk of his eight years in the papacy protecting pedophiles. (In fairness, he later claimed he didn’t want to join Hitler Youth, though while saying that he did call someone “a Nazi, but an honest man.”) As for homophobia, we’ll just say that Benedict once called being gay “an intrinsic moral evil.”
Geller did not respond to Mediaite’s request for comment on the matter.
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