As the first reports emerged of the Monday terrorist attack in which 22 people were killed and more than 60 injured at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, a Boston journalist posted a shocking joke on Twitter.
CBS freelance writer David Leavitt tweeted: “Multiple confirmed fatalities at Manchester Arena. The last time I listened to Ariana Grande I almost died too.”
“Honestly, for over a year I thought Ariana Grande was something you ordered at Starbucks,” a second tweet read.
Leavitt faced an immediate barrage of complaints and criticism from appalled Twitter users, including journalists and members of the general public, who labeled him a “vile scumbag.”
In response to them, Leavitt replied: “Too soon?” and even bragged about the surge of attention he was receiving on Twitter.
Leavitt apologized an hour and 45 minutes after his first tweet. Hours later, he deleted the post “since so many asked.”
“Sorry 4 offending. Didn’t realize the magnitude of the tragedy. I always make stupid jokes about whatevers (sic) trending. Condolences 2 families,” he posted to his 60,000 followers.
In 2016, CBS publicly distanced itself from Leavitt following another of his controversial tweets which read: “Trump died sleeping.” Leavitt said that the tweet calmed him.
Leavitt claims to work for CBS but, on Monday, the company issued a tweet from their Boston affiliate, WBZ, stating that: “David Leavitt is not a WBZ employee. His abhorrent comments in no way represent the views of our station.”
AXS, another company for which Leavitt claims to work, called his comments “despicable.”
“This person is not employed by AXS. We don’t endorse this despicable comment.”
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