A St. Louis Fox reporter may have ended his career by posting a Facebook comment that mocked the mother of Michael Brown — a black teen who was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri back in 2014.
According to Raw Story, Fox 2 News reporter Bobby Hughes used Facebook to comment on a post by the conservative blog, the Gateway Pundit.
Hughes was responding to a comment under the article titled, “Michael Brown’s Mother To Speak At DNC Convention — After She Robs and Beats Her Mother-in-Law.”
St. Louis police officer Lt. Jerry Foster had written, “Why not let them speak. It is the Democratic Criminal Party. How fitting.”
Hughes replied with: “She’s going to talk about the new lead diet she’s endorsed. Five servings and you can lose 200 lbs in two years easily.”
It’s evident that the “lead diet” and “loss of 200 lbs” Hughes mentioned were direct references to her son being shot by police several times two years ago.
The Ethical Society of Police — which represents minority law enforcement officials — learned of this inappropriate commentary and slammed Hughes along with Officer Foster and other local officials who chimed in on the topic and “liked” the insensitive comments on the site.
“The trivial manner in which Mr. Hughes refers to the brutal death of Michael Brown is disheartening,” read a statement released by the Ethical Society. “We should all seek to behave in a manner that’s humane to others, especially when someone has experienced such a loss as Mrs. McSpadden and the Brown family."
Hughes deleted his posts after his network found out about them and he issued an apology.
“I would like to apologize for the hurtful posts I recently made on my Facebook page. I specifically want to tell Michael Brown’s family how very sorry I am,” he wrote. “As a parent, I can’t imagine losing a child and what I wrote was incredibly insensitive considering all that Mrs. Lezley McSpadden has been through. My two inappropriate posts are by no means a reflection of the views at KTVI/KPLR. They are a news organization that prides itself on being fair. I on the other hand was anything but fair — and for that I am deeply sorry.”
Despite Hughes’ apology, community members and the Ethical Society are calling for his termination. Several people have reportedly threatened to boycott Fox 2 News until he’s been dismissed.
The problem with Hughes' comments and subsequent apology is that he was simply doing damage control to save his own skin.
His original remarks on the article were his true, candid thoughts in that moment whereas his apology was carefully crafted and likely coached.
If he really felt any sincere remorse, he would have thought twice about the crass joke and deleted it long before it got around to his employers. The same goes for the officers and city officials who engaged on the post.
Freedom of speech is all fine and dandy until you begin to use that right as a means to hurt and attack others for no apparent reason other than the fact that you think it is “funny.”
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters