Conservative writer Glenn Reynolds has been suspended for one month by USA Today, which runs his twice-weekly column, after the University of Tennessee law professor tweeted that individuals stuck in cars in Charlotte should run over protesters who are blocking the roads.
“Run them down,” the offending tweet, sent out Wednesday said. Twitter briefly suspended the Instapundit.com blogger, reinstating him after he agreed to delete the offending message.
“USA TODAY expects its columnists to provide thoughtful, reasoned contributions to the national conversation, on all platforms,” the paper’s editorial page editor Bill Sternberg said in a Thursday evening statement announcing the suspension. “Glenn Reynolds’ ‘Run them down’ tweet, in response to a news report about protesters in Charlotte stopping traffic and surrounding vehicles, was a violation of that standard and can be interpreted as an incitement to violence. … His column has been suspended for one month.”
On Thursday evening, Mr. Reynolds issued an apology to USA Today readers, which the newspaper published Thursday evening, saying he failed to “live up to my own standards, and I didn’t meet USA TODAY’s standards.”
Mr. Reynolds explained that he stands by the advice, however, that individuals stuck in automobiles in a riot should keep driving, in order to ensure their safety.
“What I meant is that drivers who feel their lives are in danger from a violent mob should not stop their vehicles,” he explained. “I remember Reginald Denny, a truck driver who was beaten nearly to death by a mob during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. My tweet should have said, ‘Keep driving,’ or ‘Don’t stop.’ “
Mr. Reynolds is also being investigating by his employer, the University of Tennessee, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported on Thursday evening.
“The university is committed to academic freedom, freedom of speech, and diverse viewpoints, all of which are important for an institution of higher education and the free exchange of ideas,” law school dean Melanie Wilson said in a statement, reported the News Sentinel. “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.”