The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has apologized for a tweet that linked to its story about lottery winner Willie Lynch — saying the money could buy “40 acres and a whole lotta mules.”
“The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sincerely regrets an earlier Twitter message that contained an inappropriate statement,” editor Kevin Riley said in a statement. “We took immediate action to apologize via social media and on our website and will issue an apology in Thursday morning’s print edition.”
Riley added that AJC did not approve of the tweet and that the people responsible for it would be punished: “We do not condone such offensive messages and are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again. Additionally, we are taking the appropriate disciplinary action with the individuals involved.”
Former slaves were once promised 40 acres and a mule after the Civil War as a form of reparations. What possessed an unknown AJC staffer to make the association in the tweet is not known.
The offending tweet was quickly removed, and AJC since apologized in a subsequent tweet, writing: “The AJC apologizes for & deeply regrets the tweet that was posted earlier today. We are working to address this situation internally.”
AJC is owned by Cox Media, which also owns KTVU, the Fox affiliate in Oakland that made headlines in July after an anchor said the names of the pilots involved in the Asiana crash were “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Low,” “Ho Lee Fuk” and “Bang Ding Ow.”
Cox Media did not respond to request for comment.