TV executive was fired after insensitive comments about Las Vegas victims
On Sunday October 1st, almost 600 people at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival were the victims of the deadliest shooting in US history. At least 58 of those shot were killed, and a further 527 were wounded, some of them severely. The terrorist behind these heinous actions, Stephen Paddock, was quickly identified, although his motives for slaughtering dozens of innocent people are not yet known.
In the wake of the tragedy, thousands of people shared messages of love, support, and solidarity with the victims.
Ariana Grande, whose concert was the target of the Manchester attack in the UK earlier this year, offered these words on the attack: "My heart is breaking for Las Vegas. We need love, unity, peace, gun control & for people to look at this & call this what it is = terrorism."
Hundreds of others also showed their support by donating blood for those who might need it:
Even Donald Trump tried to sound empathetic, but 'warmest condolences' doesn't really cut it when 22,000 concert attendees had just been made the targets of a terrorist attack.
But at least his message was one of support, unlike that of Hayley Geftman-Gold, a vice president and senior legal counsel at CBS in New York. On the day after the attack, Geftman-Gold posted some heartless comments on Facebook, stating that the Vegas victims didn't deserve sympathy. She wrote:
"If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that the Repugs will ever do the right thing. I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are republican gun toters."
The comment references the Sandy Hook shooting of 2012, in which 20 children and six adults were murdered by a lone gunman. It has since been deleted, but screenshots of the post have been shared on Twitter:
Regardless of her stance on gun-control, saying that those people deserved to die because they may have been gun-owners themselves is simply heartless. Other Twitter users were quick to show her how wrong she was:
And others reminded her that, regardless of political affiliation, none of those people deserved to die:
In a formal statement, CBS announced that Geftman-Gold had been fired as a result of her callous words:
"This individual, who was with us for approximately one year, violated the standards of our company and is no longer an employee of CBS. Her views as expressed on social media are deeply unacceptable to all of us at CBS. Our hearts go out to the victims in Las Vegas and their families."
Geftman-Gold later issued an apology of her own, and accepted accountability for her actions:
"Earlier today I posted an indefensible post in a Facebook discussion thread concerning the tragic Las Vegas shooting, a statement I sincerely regret. I am deeply sorry for diminishing the significance of every life affected by Stephen Paddock’s terrorism last night and for the pain my words have inflicted on the loved ones of the victims.
"My shameful comments do not reflect the beliefs of my former employer, colleagues, family, and friends. Nor do they reflect my actual beliefs — this senseless violence warrants the deepest empathy. I understand and accept all consequences that my words have incurred."
Ridiculous stuff from Geftman-Gold, who has rightly been sacked for her comments. In the wake of horrific incidents such as this, if you've got nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.