Society

Station Suspends Sports Anchor After Anti-Trump Tweet

| by Lauren Briggs

A WLS-TV Chicago sportscaster has been suspended without pay after calling President Donald Trump a "cartoon lunatic" in a Feb. 19 tweet.

Sports anchor Mark Giangreco is expected to begin his weeks-long suspension on Feb. 27, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The controversy began when Giangreco responded to a tweet from Toronto Star sports columnist Bruce Arthur, which said, "Donald Trump: a hateful ignorant corrupt simpleton supported by 87 [percent] of Republicans."

"[Bruce Arthur] so obvious, so disturbing .America exposed as a country full of simpletons who allowed this cartoon lunatic to be 'elected,'" read Giangreco's tweet, which has since been deleted. Blogger Robert Feder, who first reported the tweet, captured a screenshot before it was removed.

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Following the tweet's backlash, WLS-TV, a Chicago-area ABC affiliate, issued a statement on Feb. 23.

"Sports anchor Mark Giangreco's Twitter comments are not in line with ABC 7 Chicago's non-partisan editorial standards," said the station, which is co-owned by Disney, according to the Tribune. "We've reviewed the matter and are taking the appropriate action."

This is not the first time Giangreco has landed in hot water for his off-the-cuff comments. He also deleted a tweet in which he responded to former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling's suggestion that CNN be changed to "'LPNN,' for Liberal Propaganda News Network."

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"Then let's change Fox News to Nazi News," Giangreco retorted.

In 2014, the anchor displayed a graphic while commenting on air about the NFL's Chicago Bears, with an image of quarterback Jay Cutler captioned, "Cut him or cut your wrists."

"My remarks were inappropriate, and I deeply regret and apologize for this incident," he said at the time, according to TVSpy. "I will be issuing an on-air apology in this evening's newscast."

Giangreco has worked in sports new since the 1970s and has been with WLS-TV since 1994.

"Giangreco has earned a reputation for being a sports anchor that even non-sports fans enjoy watching, delivering sports with humor, wit and an interesting spin on the day's sports news," reads his bio.

Sources: Chicago Tribune, Robert Feder, TVSpy, WLS-TV / Photo credit: Mark Giangreco/Twitter

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