Guy in Des Moines – Carson King – becomes famous for photobombing ESPN broadcasts with a “Send Me Beer Money” sign.
King turns that fame into $2 Million in donations for Iowa Childrens Hospital (less one, and only one, case of beer). Anheuser Busch matched the donations, turning the photobomb prank into a bonanza for the hospital.
Des Moines Register reporter writes profile on King. Can’t resist pointing out in the largely-laudatory profile that King wrote an objectionable tweet – a quote from the “Comedy” Central show “Tosh.0”, which is a laboratory of objectionability.
When he was 16 years old.
Anheuser Busch severs ties with King.
Public reaction explodes.
The Des Moines Register’s editor laboriously disclaims any responsibility for her and her fellow “gatekeepers'” malfeasance:
Some of you wonder why journalists think it’s necessary to look into someone’s past. It’s essential because readers depend on us to tell a complete story…In doing backgrounding for such a story, reporters talk to family, friends, colleagues or professors. We check court and arrest records as well as other pertinent public records, including social media activity. The process helps us to understand the whole person…As journalists, we have the obligation to look into matters completely, to aid the public in understanding the people we write about and in some cases to whom money is donated.
And she’s not wrong, per se; exposing scammers is the sort of thing we used to depend on the mainstream media to do.
There have been numerous cases nationally of fundraising for a person experiencing a tragedy that was revealed as a scam after media investigated the backgrounds of the organizer or purported victim.
Thing is, they found no scam. They found a sixteen year old, being a sixteen year old, quoting from a show designed for sixteen year olds, when he was sixteen. I’m gonna go out on the limb and guess the Register’s “editor” is a child-free cat lady who whose only contact with teenagers is at the drive-through at Starbucks.
And according to the Today show report on the story over the weekend, the DMR’s editorial staff when back and forth and back again, trying to decide – as a group of “gatekeepers! – whether or not to run the irrelevant, aged-out non-episode episode, before deciding, in effect, to doxx King.
Meg Fox at PJmedia isn’t buying it, either:
This is nonsense. And no one is satisfied. Readers do NOT depend on newspapers to ruin our neighbors’ lives with their intrusive doxxing. That is exactly what everyone hates about the media. Remember Don Henley’s song? “Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down…we want dirty laundry.” That wasn’t a love ballad. It was a scathing review of the way the average person sees the news media, gleefully reporting murder and mayhem and doxxing people and destroying reputations. It’s not supposed to be your theme song, Ms. Hunter.
Side note to Megan Fox: listen to NPR/WNYC’s weekly show, “On The Media”, a show that serves as the exposed public id of the “elite” media, if you want to feel really depressed about the state of the institution that’s supposed to hold government accountable – but mostly just badgers people like Carson King. The problem isn’t that they do things like this public reputational lynching; the problem is that they have developed an institutional justification for it that’d do the debates at the medieval papal Curia proud.
Anyway – after all of that, it turned out that the Register reporter, Aaron Calvin, had a bit of a history himself, with a Twitter feed full of William Davis-level tasteless. The Register fired Calvin earlier this week – a fall he deserved to take, but in a just world he’s have taken every editor involved in this travesty down with him as well.
So – a non-scam fundraiser for a noble cause was, if not canceled, at least sidetracked (King is showing admirable pluck in the face of the reputational lynching, vowing to carry on; I suspect it’ll work). The “reporter” is canceled, for now – although he’ll be back; I wouldn’t rule out the City Pages, and I’m only joking a little.
Everything’s canceled but the idiot editors – serial informational predators, who will all just to on to “cancel” again.
Unless it’s a Democrat politician, natch.