comScore

Politico Reporter Taken Off Akin Coverage Following Controversial Tweet

POLITICO reporter David Catanese caused a bit of a stir on Twitter recently when he reacted to Rep. Todd Akin‘s controversial “legitimate rape” comments by offering a defense “for argument’s sake.” The Huffington Post reported that, per a staff memo, Catanese has been removed from coverage of the congressman.

In the memo, Editor-in-Chief John Harris said Catanese “crossed a line a reporter shouldn’t cross on Twitter when he seemed to weigh in on the merits of Todd Akin’s comments.”

He added that the tweets “created a distraction to his own work, and to the newsroom as a whole,” as Catanese “made himself part of the story.”

The memo below:

From: John Harris
Sent: Mon 8/20/2012 5:33 PM
To: TP-Edit
Subject: Twitter

We have had newsroom conversations about the importance of good judgment on social platforms like Twitter and the perils of letting that slip.

Unfortunately, today offered a good example. David Catanese crossed a line a reporter shouldn’t cross on Twitter when he seemed to weigh in on the merits of Todd Akin’s comments — especially in a way many people, including many POLITICO colleagues, understandably found offensive.

Dave’s tweets on Akin created a distraction to his own work, and to the newsroom as a whole. They also made himself part of the story, requiring us for now to remove him from Akin coverage.

Today’s episode is a reminder that we need to be paying more attention to the ongoing issue of the right way for POLITICO journalists to be using social media. We have raised this issue before, and if you have questions about how this applies to your own work please speak with your direct editor.

John

Jim

On Monday, Catanese again took to Twitter to acknowledge the frenzy caused by his earlier comments:

As for the tweets in question:

(H/T HuffPost)

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

  1. Mediaite
  2. The Mary Sue
  3. RunwayRiot
  4. LawNewz
  5. Gossip Cop