Bring Me The News Twitter Fail: Joke about Eden Prairie woman's tragic death doesn't go over well

Categories: Media beefs
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Last night, the Twitter account of Minnesota news aggregator Bring Me the News made an ill-conceived joke about the tragic death of an Eden Prairie woman.

"Another reason to avoid EP!" Bring Me The News quipped in response to a story about an as-yet unidentified woman who was killed when a tree fell on her.

Here is a screen shot of the offending tweet, as well as some of the universally negative reaction to the flippant tone:

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And here is the Twitter account, obliviously plowing forward with its promotional link:

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How did this happen? We will surely get some answers from Rick Kupchella shortly.

In the meantime, bask in the glow of a purely automated, unfeeling, news aggregating machine that cracks wise about a woman's unfortunate death, then tells you about Target's upcoming Canadian initiative.

UPDATE: The Bring Me The News Twitter account spent the morning mindlessly copy-and-pasting an apology:

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Remind you of anything?

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Rick Kupchella's "Shining" moment ...

UPDATE 2: Rick Kupchella has penned a personal apology for the incident, and disclosed that the staffer responsible has lost her job over the mistake:

Last night, a BringMeTheNews staffer mistakenly sent an offending tweet on the BringMeTheNews Twitter account that she had intended to send on her own personal Twitter account. The tweet, which was immediately deleted, was highly insensitive in making light of a woman's tragic death in Eden Prairie.

The staffer has submitted a letter of resignation that we have accepted. The 25 employees at BringMeTheNews, including the staff member at issue, know this is not what we represent.

We deeply apologize to our readers and the woman's family. We understand the responsibility we have to always act with the highest standards of decency and care. We will use this incident to reaffirm that to ourselves and the community we serve, and act in a manner that is consistent with our obligation to them.

- Rick Kupchella

One curious thing about this Mea Culpa: Kupchella claims the tweet was "immediately deleted." As anyone who followed the controversy last night knows, this is simply not true. The tweet lingered for hours, long after dozens of people had pointed out that it was in poor taste. The way the account ignored the outcry was a big part of the problem.
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13 comments
tommy4852
tommy4852

I must be missing something. The tweet looks like it was going to be a headline or something. Doesn't look like they were making a joke, unless I am missing something, or not seeing the whole tweet?

John Wolfsberger
John Wolfsberger

In case you missed CP's rip on BMTN because nobody cares, here's a re-post. Nobody still cares.

codi2
codi2

City Pages is not one to talk in this situation.

mryhrndz
mryhrndz

This isn't worth a City Pages article, a resignation, or even this comment... 

In my opinion this joke is less about the woman who died, and more about the fact that a TREE took her out. If it was a national news source who had tweeted this, everyone would say "har har look at podunk Minnesota". But because it's "our" news, coming from a local person, it's "insensitive". We can't make fun of our own...

CRZ.
CRZ.

I think the worst part was the repeated cutting and pasting of an apology that was obviously never proofread.


...okay, the second worst part.

Eamon Coyne
Eamon Coyne

I think this has more to do with a professional news organization making light of a pretty sad situation. You can have opinions and make jokes on your personal account but not while on the clock. Actually a pro journo wouldn't report on something only to turn around and make fun. I think this was sadly a case of an intern mixing up Twitter accounts. BMTN has apologized but the cut and past apology didn't really feel heartfelt.

Joseph Pettini
Joseph Pettini

Some poor kid made a mistake. CP makes its share. Let it go.

Emily Koppes
Emily Koppes

Kyle - they have the right to make the joke, and people have the right to voice that they are upset about it (free speech, free market, etc) It's not like the government is arresting anyone for making the joke, which is pretty much what free speech protects you from...it doesn't protect you from criticism, lol.

Andy Stealth Trattar
Andy Stealth Trattar

The city failed to identify a tree on the verge of falling where people walk...it's an unfortunate story, but it probably is a good reason to avoid EP. I know I'm horrible, but let's face it...there wasn't poor weather last night, and trees standing upright don't just fall for no reason.

Kimberly Hanson
Kimberly Hanson

It was an insensitive remark but not nearly as shameful as the story you're trying to make out of it. They apologized. Lighten up.

Kyle Hale
Kyle Hale

People really are becoming too overly sensitive. It's a joke, and not an offensive one. Americans are supposedly so proud of all their freedoms, yet try to take them away. It doesn't make any sense.

Bev Gougé
Bev Gougé

Wow...truly bad form!! shame shame on them!

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