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Sports Anchor Suspended Over Trump Tweet

Variety logo Variety 2/24/2017 Pat Saperstein
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Chicago’s WLS-Channel 7 has reprimanded a sports anchor after he tweeted that President Trump was a “cartoon lunatic” elected by a “country of simpletons.”

The station told the Chicago Sun-Times that Mark Giangreco’s comments are “not in line with ABC 7 Chicago’s non-partisan editorial standards” and that management is “taking the appropriate action.”

That action, according to media blogger Robert Feder, amounts to a multi-week suspension without pay.

The offending tweet was a response to one from vocally political Toronto Star sports columnist Bruce Arthur, calling Trump “a hateful ignorant corrupt simpleton.”

Giangreco, 64, has since deleted his tweet, which read: “So obvious, so disturbing. America exposed as a country full of simpletons who allowed this cartoon lunatic to be ‘elected.’” Before it was deleted, he was called out by conservative talk radio host Dan Proft, who wondered whether media fairness standards applied to Giangreco.

Giangreco was suspended in 2004 for making jokes about fires in Detroit after the Pistons won the NBC Championship, and had to apologize in 2014 for making a joking reference to suicide. His bio on the station’s website says he is the “ABC 7 Chicago sports director and primary sports anchor/reporter for the Number One rated 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.” Giangreco has worked at WLS since 1994 and is the brother of Democratic political consultant Pete Giangreco, who has worked with Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel.

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