On December 31, 2022, the day after former Pope Benedict XVI died, then-Politico writer Eric Geller wrote in a now-deleted tweet "Homophobic pedophile protector and Hitler Youth alumnus dead at 95." Now Geller appears to have either left or been fired from his Politico job.
Wednesday on Twitter, John Hasson wrote on Twitter, "Did Politico fire Eric Geller for smearing Benedict XVI? His Twitter bio no longer references Politico." Hasson attached screengrabs of Geller's bio before his Pope tweet and after, and afterward mention of Politico had been removed.
Geller's bio previously read that he was "a cybersecurity reporter at Politico" and then it became a "cybersecurity journalist in Washington, D.C."
Hasson later wrote on Twitter, "Update: It appears Eric Geller either left Politico or he was fired. In either event, I'm glad to hear he's gone and hope he does some soul-searching in the meantime."
Geller's LinkedIn profile reflects that his job at Politico ended in January 0f 2023.
After backlash, Geller deleted his tweet on December 31 and wrote, "I deleted the tweet about Pope Benedict that was offensive and in poor judgment."
The Daily Mail reports that Brad Dayspring, Politico's vice president of marketing and communications, declined to comment.
On December 31, Dayspring did respond via Twitter and wrote of Geller's tweet, "Yes. The tweet is a clear violation of our social media policy and was both inaccurate and offensive."
Dayspring added, "Violations of company policy—including the social media policy—are subject to an internal review process" and "Without commenting further on this specific matter (as it is under review), violations of company policy could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination."
On Twitter Ellen Carmichael wrote, "Just here to correct the record as Mr. Geller goes on a smearing spree," and posted a screengrab clarifying the Pope's biography.
Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger's family was in opposition to the Nazis which resulted in prolonged harassment and 14-year-old Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler youth, as was mandatory under the regime.
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