Reporter who falsely claimed Annapolis shooter wore MAGA hat resigns in shame and remorse

DCNFAndrew Kerr, DCNF

A reporter at a Massachusetts-based newspaper resigned Friday after falsely claiming in a tweet Thursday that the man who killed five employees at the Capital Gazzete newspaper left a “Make America Great Again” hat at the crime scene.

“Shooter who killed 4 people at Annapolis newspaper dropped his #MAGA hat on newsroom floor before opening fire,” Conor Berry, a reporter at The Republican in Springfield, Mass., wrote in a now-deleted tweet.

Berry, who covered politics and crime for The Republican, apologized for the “stupid” and “regrettable” tweet Friday, adding that it made his 21-year career as a journalist come to a “screeching halt.”

Berry’s bio on Twitter now reads: “Former newspaper reporter.”

 

Berry took full responsibility for the tweet in a resignation notice posted Friday on The Republican’s website.

“I am ashamed of my tweet, which taints the good work of fair-minded journalists everywhere,” Berry said.

“We need to be more vigilant than ever to be fair and accurate in a climate in which we are scrutinized and criticized,” said Wayne Phaneuf, the executive editor of the newspaper, in a statement.

In a follow-up interview with the Boston Globe, Berry said his tweet was a “snarky, sarcastic, cynical remark,” and lamented that his tweet gave more fuel to critics of the news media that believe reporters try to push a partisan agenda.

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