USA Today Suspends Instapundit Over Tweet Urging Drivers To Hit Protesters

The conservative USA Today columnist and University of Tennessee law professor known as Instapundit faces new retribution from his employers for a tweet urging drivers to run over protesters blocking highways in Charlotte, North Carolina.

USA Today on Thursday announced a one-month suspension for Glenn Reynolds’ biweekly column after the commentator violated the newspaper’s standards, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

“I didn’t live up to my own standards, and I didn’t meet USA TODAY’s standards,” Reynolds said in a statement on the newspaper’s website. “For that I apologize, to USA TODAY readers and to my followers on social media.”

UT College of Law Dean Melanie Wilson told the News Sentinel that university investigators are also looking into the tweet, which she called “irresponsible.”

“My colleagues and I in the university’s leadership support peaceful disobedience and all forms of free speech, but we do not support violence or language that encourages violence,” Wilson told the newspaper.

Reynolds’ Twitter account was temporarily suspended on Wednesday after he posted the tweet, which linked to a story about demonstrators blocking traffic on I-277 during a protest over the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. “Run them down,” he wrote in the accompanying caption.

Twitter unblocked his account after Reynolds agreed to delete the post.

The conservative commentator initially appeared unapologetic for sharing a message that many said incited violence.

He defended it in a post on his blog, saying that the protesters were themselves behaving violently and that he did not mean to suggest that drivers physically injure protesters.

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Reynolds said he didn’t “apologize for the sentiment” but made his remark “perhaps a little too pithily.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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