Nico Hines’ last manual tweet was posted on August 10, 2016. The Daily Beast writer had been stationed at the Rio Olympics by his employer (nice work if you can get it, huh?) and in a number of days contrived to shame himself, his paymasters and the already-besieged profession he worked for.
The public has seen neither Hines nor hair (tips welcome) since then. Hines came under the public microscope after writing and publishing a seriously misjudged article. The piece focused on Olympians who used Grindr while enjoying leisure time away from the pressure and the world’s gaze.
Not only was Hines using the app and speaking to people under false pretences, he blundered about so wildly that he left visible photos and names in the accompanying pictures. This not only outed and made public a number of people who may not have wanted their details put about the internet for the good of sneering, but it threw the well-being of many athletes into question; particularly those who had journeyed from countries with less-than-stellar LGBTQ rights records.
Inevitably, the outcry was loud and prolonged, the backlash making press worldwide and Hines being recalled from his Brazilian outpost to face the wrath of…well, nobody.
Was Hines sacked? Nobody knows. His Twitter still claims he is employed, and his staff profile remains on the Daily Beast, but no official word has been forthcoming. The publication issued the softest of apologies after spending over 24 hours kicking their editorial heels about taking it down.
“Today we did not uphold a deep set of The Daily Beast’s values,” read the apology. “These values—which include standing up to bullies and bigots, and specifically being a proudly, steadfastly supportive voice for LGBT people all over the world—are core to our commitment to journalism and to our commitment to serving our readers”.
This “steadfastly supportive voice for LGBT people all over the world” had allowed one of their writers to pitch and write this dangerous, insensitive and plain stupid article. This “voice” then allowed a team of editors, subs and others in the chain to look at it, nod sagely and croak “yeah that’s good”. Are we yet cynical enough to think that a publication has allowed this to happen for the quick click boost and brief spark of notoriety? It’s not a guarantee it *has* happened, but it’s not exactly outside of the realm of possibility, is it?
Hines himself has yet to offer an apology of his own. He is yet to even bring forth any public statement at all. Far be it from me to call for somebody to lose their job, but for an outlet from the liberal side of the coin to allow and publish such crap and think they can kick it into the long grass is absurd, insulting and stupid.
The Daily Beast wrote in their apology “We will do better”. Three months later and we’re still waiting.