Reuters Editor Apologizes After Blaming Trump for Gazette Shooting, Could Face Discipline

June 29, 2018 Updated: July 1, 2018

An editor at Reuters has apologized after blaming President Donald Trump for a deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper that left 5 staff members dead.

Rob Cox, the breaking views editor at the international news agency wrote in a since-deleted tweet that “This is what happens when @realDonaldTrump calls journalists the enemy of the people. Blood is on your hands, Mr. President. Save your thoughts and prayers for your empty soul.”

The suspect, later identified as Jarrod W. Ramos, had in fact targeted the staff members over a long-running feud with the newspaper that stemmed over a 2012 defamation lawsuit. On Friday, Ramos was denied bail, according to Reuters.

The tweet caused an outcry among many who called out Cox for jumping to conclusions before the facts emerged. Cox later apologized in a series of 4 tweets, admitting that he had acted inappropriately.

“When I saw the news today that a mass shooter had targeted the employees of a newspaper in Maryland I responded emotionally and inappropriately,” Cox wrote on June 28.

“Though my comments were entirely personal, they were not in keeping with the Reuters Trust Principles and my own standards for letting facts, not snap judgments, guide my understanding.”

Reuters editor-in-chief, Steve Adler, issued a statement after Cox drew backlash, suggesting that he could be punished over the incident.

“Mr. Cox’s actions were inconsistent with the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles requiring journalists to maintain freedom from bias,” Adler wrote. “We do not condone his behavior and will take appropriate action.”

Cox wrote that the attack pushed him into a state of “emotional distress.” The five Gazette staffers killed in the attack were later identified as Wendi Winters, John McNamara, Gerald Fischman, Rebecca Smith, and Rob Hiaasen.

President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he was briefed on the shooting.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene.”


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