Rant Violates Network’s Non-Partisan Editorial Standards Policy
WLS-Channel 7’s sports anchor Mark Giangreco is off work with a multi-week suspension for a tweet in which he called President Donald Trump a “cartoon lunatic” and referred to Trump voters as “simpletons.”
Management of ABC 7 Chicago released statement Thursday saying, “Mark Giangreco’s Twitter comments are not in line with ABC 7 Chicago’s non-partisan editorial standards. We’ve reviewed the matter and are taking the appropriate action.”
The suspension will begin Monday February 27, 2017. Last Sunday, February 19, 2017 Giangreco responded to a tweet by Bruce Arthur, sports columnist for the Toronto Star, who wrote, “Donald Trump: a hateful ignorant corrupt simpleton supported by 87% of Republicans.”
Giangreco then tweeted: “So obvious, so disturbing. America exposed as a country full of simpletons who allowed this cartoon lunatic to be ‘elected.’”
Tweet captured by ChicagoCityWire.com.
Giangreco deleted the tweet, but not before it was witnessed and captured by Chicago City Wire, a news website that according to it’s website reports to the people of Cook County, and to “believes in limited government, in the constructive role of free government and in the rights of citizens to choose the size and scope of their government and the role it should play in their society.”
In 2014, Giangreco apologized for airing a graphic over his shoulder during a sports segment that showed a photo of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler with the caption: “Cut him or cut your wrists.” The captioned photo offended sensitive viewers regarding an attempt to use humor with allusion to suicide. Giangreco replied, “My remarks were inappropriate, and I deeply regret and apologize for this incident.”
In 2004, Giangreco was suspended one week without pay for joking on on camera during his sports segment about Detroit going up in flames after the Pistons won the NBA Championship. With a black-and-white movie clip of a city burning in the background, Giangreco called it a “typical night for Detroit.”
Giangreco, one of Chicago’s highest paid anchors, joined ABC 7 Chicago in 1994 following 12 years at NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV, Channel 5. While with Channel 5, Giangreco reached his lowest point, poking fun at legendary Chicago Bears Running Back Walter Payton’s gaunt appearance before Payton announced a week later that he was suffering from primary sclerosing cholangitis, which likely caused cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) and ultimately his death. Giangreco referred to Payton as Gandhi.
“He referred to him as Gandhi. And then, earlier in the day, I think he said (Walter) looked shriveled up or something like that. I think he owes him an apology.”
— Connie Payton (Walter’s wife)
“That hurt, it really did. I realize how serious it (the disease) is and I realize there are a lot of other people that it might be serious to. To poke fun at it (the disease) without even knowing what the problems are . . . it’s very difficult. Very disheartening.”
— Walter Payton
A week later, Giangreco announced an on-air clarification and apology during his sports segment on the 5 p.m. news, and said later he was “devastated” to learn the real cause of Payton’s dramatic weight loss.
Less than a month after Giangreco’s Gandhi comment, Payton called Giangreco and told him, “`Look, I’ve known you for 16 years. I know your personality. You have always been on my `A’ list. You’re still on my `A’ list. I know you didn’t know (about the illness). And I know you were only kidding. At the time (the comment) really hurt me deeply because I was so emotionally distraught about my situation. I was so scared and angry and everything else.” Giangreco told the Chicago Tribune’s reporter Fred Mitchell it was the most
Chicago City Wire reports that Giangreco’s brother, Peter Giangreco, is a Democrat party consultant who worked for Governor Rod Blagojevich and Presidential candidates John Edwards and Gary Hart. Chicago City Wire also reported that Mark Giangreco is a registered voter who has lived in Chicago Evanston, and Wilmette, but didn’t vote in the 2010, 2012, 2014 or 2016 elections, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Chicago Tribune Giangreco Finds `Sweetness’ Doesn’t Stay Bitter Long
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