“Bad idea trying to have nuanced conversation on highly charged issue on [Twitter],” Politico reporter Dave Catanese tweeted Monday. “Did not intend to take a side. Lesson learned.” It’s too bad he didn’t learn the lesson from former colleague Joseph Williams, who lost his job over opinionated tweets two months ago.
Catanese made himself a target for Twitter hostility on Sunday when he published a series of tweets defending Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri, who earlier that day had earned scorn for a comment about “legitimate rape” while discussing abortion policy. Politico removed Catanese from the Akin story.
“David Catanese crossed a line a reporter shouldn’t cross on Twitter when he seemed to weigh in on the merits of Todd Akin’s comments — especially in a way many people, including many Politico colleagues, understandably found offensive,” top editors wrote in a memo to staff. “… Today’s episode is a reminder that we need to be paying more attention to the ongoing issue of the right way for Politico journalists to be using social media.”