Reporter Don Surber had worked for the Charleston Daily Mail for 30 years when riots broke out on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri over the death of black teenager Michael Brown. After watching day in and day out as the leftwing media martyred Brown, who was nothing more that a common street thug, Surber took to his personal blog to express his feelings on the ordeal. He certainly didn’t hold back:
“This summer I had an epiphany as I watched packs of racists riot in Ferguson, Missouri, in support of a gigantic thug who was higher than a kite when he attacked Ferguson Police Department Officer Darren Wilson, who unfortunately had to put this animal down.”
After receiving massive amounts of backlash for his statement, Surber posted this “apology”:
“UPDATE: I made a factual error. Michael Brown was not an animal but a man. Big. Brutal. High. His death was a justifiable homicide and not a putting down.”
Once Surber’s editors over at the Charleston Daily Mail got wind of his little rant, they fired him. “He selected words that were unfortunate, inflammatory and, in our view, inexcusable,” editor Brad McElhinny said. “It’s his own blog, but still, he’s known as a Daily Mail editorial columnist and many readers seemed to perceive the views stated to reflect on the Daily Mail’s editorial policy.”
In response, Surber republished his blog statement, but omitted the parts referring to Mike Brown as an animal. “Readers who want to carry this on forever should be ashamed of themselves,” he added.
Do you think it was wrong of Surber’s editors to fire him over expressing his First Amendment right to free speech? Or should he have toned down his message as a representative of a news outlet? Give us your take in the comments section.