WLS-Channel 7 sports anchor Mark Giangreco is in the penalty box with his bosses for a tweet calling President Donald Trump a “cartoon lunatic” elected by “a country of simpletons.”
“Sports Anchor Mark Giangreco’s Twitter comments are not in line with ABC 7 Chicago’s non-partisan editorial standards,” station management told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We’ve reviewed the matter and are taking the appropriate action.”
A spokesman for the station declined to say what action was taken against the popular sportscaster.
But media blogger Robert Feder said station management handed Giangreco a “multi-week suspension” without pay.
Feder broke the news Thursday afternoon, reporting that the suspension would begin Monday. Giangreco appeared on the station’s 5 p.m. newscast.
The sportscaster drew his bosses’ ire when he responded to a Sunday tweet from Toronto Star sports columnist Bruce Arthur, who wrote “Donald Trump: a hateful ignorant corrupt simpleton supported by 87% of Republicans.”
Giangreco countered with a tweet since deleted: “So obvious, so disturbing. America exposed as a country full of simpletons who allowed this cartoon lunatic to be ‘elected.’”
But before Giangreco deleted the post it caught the eye of talk radio host Dan Proft, who wrote about it on his website Chicago City Wire and talked about it Wednesday morning on his program on WIND-AM 560.
“I don’t even know Mark Giangreco,” Proft told the Sun-Times.
But the conservative political consultant and former Republican gubernatorial cnadidate said he was only concerned about what the station’s standards were and whether they applied them equally — which he says they did in Giangreco’s case.
“So good for them,” Proft said. “As for the substance of it, Mark Giangreco calling everyone who voted for Trump a simpleton, the intellectual quality of that speaks for itself. I don’t need to comment on that.”
Proft also noted that his website looked at state Board of Elections data and determined that Giangreco had not voted in the past four elections — 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
“I guess you should be careful about throwing stones from glass houses,” Proft said.
Giangreco’s comments have gotten him in trouble before. He was suspended for a week without pay in 2004 for joking about fires that broke out in Detroit after the Pistons won the NBA Championship, and he apologized in 2014 for a joking reference to suicide, according to Feder’s report.
Giangreco is ABC 7’s “Chicago sports director and primary sports anchor/reporter for the Number One rated 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts,” according to a biography on the station’s website.
“Giangreco has earned a reputation for being a sports anchor that even non-sports fans enjoy watching, delivering sports with humor, wit and an interesting spin on the day’s sports news,” according to the bio.
He joined the station in 1994 after more than a decade at WMAQ-TV.
Giangreco is the brother of Pete Giangreco, a leading Chicago-based Democratic political consultant whose clients have included Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel and Tammy Duckworth.