Carson King became an overnight sensation when he held up a sign behind the hosts of ESPN’s “Game Day” show, asking for money for beer. Before attending the filming of the ESPN show, King made the sign with a piece of poster board and a sharpie pen. The sign included his Venmo account information, for anyone who cared to donate to his beer fund.

Much to his surprise, money began pouring into King’s Venmo account. Once donations to King’s Venmo account reached $600, the 24-year-old security guard at a local casino, announced that he would donate all of the money to a children’s hospital in Iowa City. It wasn’t long before King had collected over $1 million in personal and corporate donations.

The Des Moine Register wrote about King and his generous heart.

By Monday afternoon, local and national media started picking up the tale. On Tuesday, Busch Light and Venmo, the two brands that had appeared on King’s sign, both pledged to match whatever money King was able to raise.

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“I do have kind of a big heart,” King said of his decision to turn his 15 seconds of fame into a fundraising opportunity. “My friends know me as kind of a softy. I’m ‘the nice guy.'”

As his profile has grown, he’s received numerous requests to join in on the next tailgate, recognition from strangers and even romantic overtures. He’s been called out to as “The Busch Light Guy,” and King has savored it, focused on converting every drop of attention into cash for the children’s hospital.

“At work, people recognize me. At Target, people recognize me,” he said. “I’m happy with all of it. None of this could have happened without people out there recognizing me and realizing this is a good cause and everything. If people want to take pictures with me, I’m all for it.”

For Busch Light, King’s story was the marketing equivalent of discovering oil in its backyard. The company quickly jumped at the opportunity to not only match King’s donation but also to supply him a year’s worth of beer — 60 cans of beer a month for 12 months for a total of 720 cans — branded with his face and proclaiming King an “Iowa Legend.”

After keeping a few cans as memorabilia, King plans to share the beer with family, friends and others who have helped him in his journey before exploring opportunities to auction off cans to raise money for charitable causes.

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The Des Moine Register didn’t stop at acknowledging King’s incredible act of generosity, their writer, Aaron P. Calvin, took it one step further, going back eight years in King’s social media accounts to dig up dirt on the local hero. Calvin wrote about two separate posts made by King on social media:

A routine background check of King’s social media revealed two racist jokes, one comparing black mothers to gorillas and another making light of black people killed in the holocaust. The joke tweets date back to 2012, when King was a 16-year-old high school student.

King responded to the accusations by the Des Moine Register, saying  they made him “sick.” He has since deleted them.

“That’s not something that I’m proud of at all,” he told the Register during the day Tuesday.

Tuesday evening, King spoke to local television stations about the now-deleted tweets.

“I am embarrassed and stunned to reflect on what I thought was funny when I was 16-year-old,” he said in a statement posted by WHO-TV. “I want to sincerely apologize.”

 

Several Twitter users posted screenshots of an “F*ck all cops” tweet allegedly posted by the Des Moine Register writer, Aaron P. Calvin, who used 8-year-old social media posts to discredit King.

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In a statement posted to Twitter, the Des Moine Register explained their decision to include the content of the social media posts by King from 8 years ago.

After they were bombarded with screenshots of the vile tweet by their writer, Aaron Calvin, they responded by saying they are “aware” of the social media posts by “one of our staffers,” saying that it is “under investigation.”

The Des Moine Register got thrashed on Twitter for their hit piece on the 24-year-old hero, Carson King, accusing them of ruining the young man’s life and suggesting their writer take a job at the New York Times where he would fit in perfectly.

And finally, this Twitter user said the Des Moine Register’s hit piece on King caused him to donate $50 to his Venmo account.

In 2016, the Des Moine Register glossed over the crimes committed by Crooked Hillary Clinton and gave her their endorsement for President over then-candidate Donald Trump. Here’s a portion of their endorsement:

She is not a perfect candidate, as evidenced by the way she has handled the furor over her private email server. In our endorsement of her 2008 campaign for president, we wrote that ‘when she makes a mistake, she should just say so.’ That appears to be a lesson she has yet to fully embrace. Her changing stance on gay marriage, immigration, and other issues has invited accusations that she is guided less by personal conviction than by political calculations. She refutes that, and argues persuasively that a willingness to change one’s thinking on specific issues, while remaining true to what she calls ‘the same values and principles,’ is a virtue, one lacking in most politicians.”

The Des Moine Register apparently has more tolerance for career criminals than for 16-year-old boys who make mistakes on social media, but grow up to be real-life heroes.

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