A CNN reporter is taking an online beatdown after an ill-advised tweet saying the media and entertainment industries are suffering a "drain of talent" because so many men are being ousted in disgrace over sexual harassment allegations.
The left-wing cable network's Dylan Byers took down the tweet after being labeled a “joke” and worse by angry advocates of women's workplace rights, but the misguided missive lives on in screen grabs nonetheless. Byers, who covers media, tweeted after CBS and PBS both fired veteran journalist Charlie Rose because he was accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women.
“Beyond the pain/humiliation women have endured (which is of course the paramount issue), it’s worth taking stock of the incredible drain of talent from media/entertainment taking place right now. Never has so much talent left the industry all at once,” Byers tweeted.
Twitter users on both sides of the political aisle interpreted the tweet as a way of saying that people such as Rose are more talented than women who were run out of the industry by sexual predators and the entire situation has emerged as the latest embarrassment for Jeff Zucker’s left-leaning network.
Media analyst Mark Dice captured a screen grab of the deleted tweet captioned, “CNN's @DylanByers is sad that so many talented celebrities are losing work because they're sexual predators. Yeah, how sad they won't be making any more movies. That's the real tragedy in all this, right? Wow CNN is a cesspool.”
“It’s nuts how many talented, unemployed journalists I know while Dylan Byers will always have a six figure job.”
Donald Trump Jr. quickly chimed in, asking if “talented conservatives would get the same” and mocking the liberal reporter, “Oh they’re “talented”... well that changes everything.”
One critic suggested that Byers be replaced by a woman whose career stalled because of sexual harassment. Byers’ Wikipedia page was even changed by someone who called him a “proponent of sexual assault if it interferes with his entertainment.”
Journalist Katherine Krueger said, “It’s nuts how many talented, unemployed journalists I know while Dylan Byers will always have a six figure job.”
New York Times best-selling author Roxane Gay wrote, “Think about the women whose talent was never allowed to thrive because men can’t understand that women don’t exist for their sexual delectation. What is wrong with you!?”
One America News Network’s Emily Miller, who has said she is a victim of sexual assault by disgraced political analyst Mark Halperin, said her hands were shaking when she replied to Byers.
“That ‘talent’ who led the industry physically and sexually assaulted DOZENS of women who left TV news from fear and that ‘talent’ who would only help our careers if we had sex with them,” Miller wrote.
The media and entertainment industries have been rocked with high-profile men being accused of sexual misconduct since Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was outed as a sexual predator last month. In addition to Weinstein, Rose and Halperin, New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush, ex-Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly, actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis C.K., an NBC News executive and many others have been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior. While most see this as a much-needed wakeup call, Byers appeared to think the absence of these men will impact his personal entertainment.
Mother Jones Editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery, Foreign Policy writer Emily Tamkin, freelance journalist Hannah Gais, Mediaite’s Justin Baragona and climate change researcher Kathie Dello are among the many high-profile progressives who turned on Byers because of his tweet. Writer Andi Zeisler said, “This tweet is the most embarrassing thing I've seen this week, and I saw a dog wearing a full rain suit today.”
CNN Money producer Abigail Brooks even responded to her colleague by saying, “ I think we can find some suitable replacements.” Byers’ other colleague, Brian Stelter, acts as the self-appointed ombudsman of all-things media, but failed to mention the backlash his CNN Money teammate faced in Tuesday’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter.
“Aw what a shame the tweet was deleted. Basically it said the victims should be recognized but the talent being purged from the media and Hollywood is a real loss for humanity. What a joke.”
“Dylan Byers couldn't stand it that Chris Cilliza was getting all the attention for being the most awful person at CNN,” one user tweeted while another said, “The mass exodus of mediocre misogynists from media is somehow more notable than all the women they drove from the industry.”
Byers eventually deleted his tweet but didn’t apologize for the insensitive remarks, writing, “I've deleted my previous tweet. It was poorly worded and didn't properly convey my intended observation.”
President Trump’s oldest son also noticed that Byers deleted the tweet, “Aw what a shame the tweet was deleted. Basically it said the victims should be recognized but the talent being purged from the media and Hollywood is a real loss for humanity. What a joke.”
NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck said he was “laughing hysterically” because “every Dylan Byers tweet backtracking from his original tweet isn't helping his case.”
Byers did not respond to request for further comment. CNN did not respond when asked if Byers will be disciplined.