An ABC-TV sportscaster in Chicago has been suspended without pay for a tweet in which he called President Trump a “cartoon lunatic.”
The Disney-owned station said Thursday the multi-week suspension of Mark Giangreco, which is expected to begin Monday, violates the station’s ethical standards, according to the Chicago Tribune.
"Sports anchor Mark Giangreco's Twitter comments are not in line with ABC 7 Chicago's non-partisan editorial standards," the station said in a statement. "We've reviewed the matter and are taking the appropriate action."
The offending tweet came Sunday as Giangreco responded to a tweet by Toronto sportscaster Bruce Arthur, who wrote, “Donald Trump: a hateful ignorant corrupt simpleton supported by 87 (percent) of Republicans.”
Giangreco then chimed in with, "America exposed as a country full of simpletons who allowed this cartoon lunatic to be 'elected'."
The tweet was deleted but not before Chicago City Wire spotted it. The suspension was first publicized by blogger Robert Feder, who said Giangreco is "one of Chicago’s highest-paid and most popular sportscasters for 35 years."
Media observers found the suspension a contrast to the way public criticisms of President Obama or his wife were treated. Such attacks often resulted in the critic -- whether a journalist or not -- being fired suspended. By contrast, criticism of Trump has not resulted in such frequent or severe punishments.