Yesterday, we called out the Chicago Sun-Times for their silence on the Joe Cowley sexist tweet mess. Their silence over two days was mystifying considering one of their high profile sports columnists had used his Twitter feed to denounce women in multiple walks of life. Thankfully, that silence didn’t last much longer as Editor In-Chief Jim Kirk finally released this statement yesterday:
“The Chicago Sun-Times is an institution with important social responsibilities, and we expect those who represent our paper to act with the respect and sensitivity that our readers deserve. Mr. Cowley’s remarks were offensive and he has been reprimanded appropriately.”
Ah yes, the mysterious “reprimanded appropriately.” What exactly does that mean though? Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Cowley is now on “final notice” with the paper, which basically means his next screw up will be his last. Given Cowley’s track record, he’ll eventually change for the better or finally meet his end. Also, it is interesting to note that the Sun-Times and not Cowley dictated that his Twitter page be shut down:
“Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist Joe Cowley has been placed on “final notice” — one step away from firing — for posting a series of sexist and offensive messages on his Twitter account, according to insiders at the newspaper.
Although Cowley had been known to cross the line before, the tweets he posted Sunday morning while waiting for a delayed flight to take off became a viral sensation and a source of embarrassment for the paper after they were picked up by the sports news website Deadspin.com, which accused Cowley of “raging sexism” and abuse toward females.
As soon as he landed, Cowley killed his Twitter account under orders from sports editor Chris DeLuca, who had called the columnist’s cell phone demanding the deletion. But by then, his offending tweets had been copied and archived on more than one website.
Cowley’s reporting continued uninterrupted as his editors ultimately decided to issue a final warning through the guild process. “If he does anything again, it’s pretty much a fireable offense,” a source said.”
So Cowley has not been fired, nor has he been suspended. In fact, Cowley filed another column yesterday on the Bulls, again with no reference to the scandal of his own making. It’s a little disappointing that Cowley’s only discipline is double secret probation, but the self-inflicted damage upon whatever credibility he possessed may go beyond anything the Sun-Times could hand down.
(via Time Out Chicago)