Apparently, Associated Press Media Relations Director Paul Colford is unaware of the sage advice that when one is in a deep hole, it's best to stop digging.
Shortly after the George Zimmerman verdict, AP reporter Cristina Silva, as noted late last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog; HT Breitbart.com) tweeted "So We Can All Kill Teenagers Now? Just Checking." A short time ago, Colford sent me an email and posted a comment at my home blog as follows: "Clarification, please: Ms. Silva was a temporary AP staffer who hasn't worked for AP lately. Thanks." All I can say to that, based on what follows, is "OMG."
A search on Ms. Silva's tag at the AP's Big Story section at its national site reveals that her most recent story was ... wait for it ... just five days ago:
Since the story dates don't contain the year, I really hoped that her most recent item was from a year ago. Nope, it's from five days ago:
Silva's "Big Story" tag has roughly 40 stories. About half are from this year, and the other half from last year.
Given the nature of the story she covered five days ago and her likely grief at seeing a fellow journalist killed, I think it's more than fair to cut Ms. Silva, who has since closed her Twitter account, a bit of slack for temporarily reacting as she did to the Zimmerman verdict. But that doesn't excuse her decision to tweet about it, or her subsequent decision to try to pass it off as a joke.
As to Colford's attempt to mitigate the damage -- Paul, you need another cup or two of coffee and to do a little research before you try to blindly defend the indefensible. If some higher-up at AP told you to respond as you did and pulled a fast one on you, shame on them -- and there should be hell to pay.
And maybe giving Twitter accounts to people who won't think before tweeting isn't such a great idea.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.