A Boston journalist has been slammed for a vile joke about a terrorist attack which killed 19 people and injured 50 at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday night.
A 7pm EST, as the first reports of the atrocity emerged, Boston-based journalist David Leavitt took to Twitter to write: ‘Multiple confirmed fatalities at Manchester Arena. The last time I listened to Ariana Grande I almost died too.’
‘Honestly, for over a year I thought Ariana Grande was something you ordered at Starbucks,’ he continued, oblivious to the insensitivity of his first tweet.
Leavitt, who used to write guide to Boston on a freelance basis for CBS, was immediately inundated with complaints from outraged Twitter users who labeled him a ‘vile scumbag’ and called for him to never work again.
CBS freelance writer David Leavitt posted this vile tweet on Monday night within hours of a terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester which has left 19 dead and 50 injured
At least 19 people died and 50 were injured in an explosion at Manchester Arena on Monday night after the singer left the stage. Above, one survivor is led away from the scene by police
Unrepentant, he replied to them: ‘Too soon?’ and even boasted receiving a notification from the micro-blogging site to notify him of the surge in attention his profile was suddenly receiving.
Among those to slam him were journalists from CBC alongside members of the public.
An hour and 45 minutes after his first tweet, he apologized. Hours after that, he deleted the tweet ‘since so many asked’.
‘Sorry 4 offending. Didn’t realize the magnitude of the tragedy. I always make stupid jokes about whatevers (sic) trending. Condolences 2 families,’ he told his 60,000 followers.
CBS publicly distanced itself from him last year after he sparked controversy by tweeting: ‘Trump died sleeping’, claiming those three words would calm him down.
They were quick to clear up the fact that despite his claims, he does not work for the company on Monday.
‘David Leavitt is not a WBZ employee. His abhorrent comments in no way represent the views of our station,’ a tweet from the company’s Boston affiliate, WBZ, read.
Instead of apologizing, he doubled down on his jokes, posting another (which he had made before) about how he thought Grande was ‘something you ordered at Starbucks’
Leavitt then boasted about all the notifications he was receiving from outraged followers
Despite being inundated with complaints from horrified followers, he carried on
Eventually, an hour and 45 minutes after his first tweet, Leavitt apologized and said he ‘always makes stupid jokes about whatever’s trending’
AXS, another outlet which he claimed to have worked for, labeled the comments ‘despicable’.
‘This person is not employed by AXS. We don’t endorse this despicable comment.’
Leavitt previously wrote Boston-based guides including ‘Boston’s Best Skate Parks’ and ‘Best Place for Outdoor Yoga’ for the network’s website. He describes himself as a gaming specialist.
Leavitt eventually apologized, saying he ‘always’ made jokes about ‘whatever is trending
Leavitt did not respond to DailyMail.com’s requests on Monday night. Instead, he carried on tweeting about how he’d never become a vegan and losing his internet connection.
British police have categorized Monday’s incident a terrorist attack.
Sources say it was carried out by a suicide bomber. Witnesses described ‘nuts and bolts’ flying, suggesting it was a nail bomb that was detonated.
Frantic video footage showed the crowd, which was mostly made up of teenage girls, running for their lives immediately afterwards.
Some were momentarily adopted by adults and taken to nearby hotels to wait for their petrified parents to arrive to collect them.
Grande, who had just left the stage, was in ‘hysterics’ after the show. She is not hurt but is now considering postponing her London show in light of the atrocity, sources told TMZ.
There was a huge rush of police and ambulances to the arena.
Some concert-goers were seen being consoled by strangers as they sat on the pavement, reeling from the shock of the attack.
There was a sudden rush of ambulances and police cars to Manchester Arena on Monday
British emergency responders carry some of the victims out on stretchers
A woman is comforted by police as she tends to one of the victims hurt in the attack