The TV news producer who was fired this week after labeling a chyron: “Known Cheater” underneath footage of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said despite the publicity he’s been getting, most people have recognized it was in jest.
Michael Telek, 27, who worked for the CBS affiliate KDKA-TV, said the “Known Cheater” label, was a reference to the Deflategate scandal and merely intended as a light-hearted jab.
“I mean, it’s Pittsburgh, we hate the Patriots, we hate Tom Brady, so it was a little wink for fans,” Telek said during an interview with Deadspin.
The “Known Cheater” segment aired Monday evening and within minutes blew up over social media, Telek said.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson with KDKA-TV told Fox News in a statement that the station fired the employee responsible for creating the graphic.
“While fans are entitled to have personal opinions, we have a journalistic responsibility to provide unbiased reporting,” the station said in a statement. “The graphic that appeared Monday violated our news standards. The individual who created the graphic no longer works for KDKA-TV.”
Telek said his friends have set up a GoFundMe account to help him keep afloat while he looks for a new job. Telek told Deadspin he will donate some of the money to a charity in Brady’s name once he finds new employment.
Fox News' Kathleen Joyce contributed to this report.