CBS fires lawyer over Facebook posts calling Vegas shooting victims likely 'Republican gun toters'
Updated: CBS has fired vice president and senior counsel Hayley Geftman-Gold because of Facebook comments under her name that said she had no sympathy for the victims of late Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed dozens and injured hundreds at a country music festival.
One comment said country music fans often are Republican, and Republicans opposed gun control, report Fox News, the Los Angeles Times, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.
“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs [sic] will ever do the right thing,” said a Facebook comment captured by the Daily Caller in a screenshot. “I’m actually not even sympathetic bc [sic] country music fans often are Republican gun toters.”
The screen shot identified Geftman-Gold as the vice president and senior counsel of strategic transactions at CBS, a former lawyer at the dissolved law firm Heller Ehrman, and a former associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
As of Monday afternoon, 58 people were reported dead and more than 500 injured after a gunman opened fire from a 32nd-floor room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, according to the New York Times. The gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, apparently killed himself. Audio recordings of the shooting suggest he used at least one automatic weapon, the Times reports in another story.
In a statement to Fox News, CBS said: “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 apologized for the post Monday evening in a statement to Fox News. It reads: “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.”
Updated on Oct. 3 to include Geftman-Gold’s statement.