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:
And here is the Twitter account, obliviously plowing forward with its promotional link:
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:
Remind you of anything?
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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.