A local newspaper editor resigned after falsely claiming the gunman involved in last week’s shooting in Annapolis wore a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap.
Reporter Conor Berry, who worked for the Springfield, Mass., newspaper The Republican, later admitted he was wrong to make a tweet blaming the shooting on a Trump supporter.
Folks, My 21-year career as a "journalist," a fancy term that makes my skin crawl, frankly, came to a screeching halt yesterday with one stupid, regrettable tweet. Can't take it back; wish I could. My sincere apologies to all good, hardworking reporters and to POTUS supporters.
— CONOR BERRY (@CBerry413) June 29, 2018
“Folks, My 21-year career as a ‘journalist,’ a fancy term that makes my skin crawl, frankly, came to a screeching halt yesterday with one stupid, regrettable tweet,” Berry tweeted. “Can’t take it back; wish I could. My sincere apologies to all good, hardworking reporters and to POTUS supporters.”
In his resignation letter he wrote, “I am ashamed of my tweet, which taints the good work of fair-minded journalists everywhere.”
After the shooting unfolded at The Capital Gazette offices on Thursday, Berry tweeted that the suspect had left his MAGA hat behind.
“Shooter who killed 4 people at Annapolis newspaper dropped his #MAGA hat on newsroom floor before opening fire,” Berry claimed.
The post was noticed by another editor who quickly deleted the erroneous tweet, but the damage was already done.
In a statement released Friday, The Republican executive editor Wayne Phaneuf said the newspaper remains committed to truth.
“We need to be more vigilant than ever to be fair and accurate in a climate in which we are scrutinized and criticized,” Phaneuf said in a statement. “The Republican newspaper and our partners at MassLive.com are committed to report the news with the truth paramount.”
On Monday, President Trump retweeted a tweet from conservative radio host Larry Elder, who joked that Trump derangement syndrome could be “career ending.”