The split in the United States over whether to “reopen” the economy has become a political divide, and it just caused one television news personality to lose his job: A weatherman who retweeted an insult of Minnesotans protesting ongoing coronavirus lockdowns has been fired by the NBC station that employed him.
Although NBC station KARE in Minneapolis cited “continued violations” of the station’s “news ethics” and other policies as its reasons, Sven Sundgaard recently drew public criticism after reposting a local rabbi’s online message about lockdown protesters.
The homosexual weatherman had also likened Southerners in the U.S. to Nazis.
Rabbi Michael Adam Latz’s message characterized people who want their state reopened as “white nationalist Nazi sympathizer gun fetishist miscreants,” the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.
Within two hours of KARE announcing the firing on Facebook more than 3,300 viewers had responded, with many applauding the station’s decision, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported.
Republican U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis aimed a scathing Twitter message at Sundgaard on April 30:
“Today’s forecast: mostly sunny w/ a chance of idiocy,” Lewis wrote. “#Covid_19 models are about as accurate as his forecasts. @kare11 should fire him.”
KARE president and general manager John Remes declined to comment to the Pioneer Press; Sundgaard himself did not immediately respond to the newspaper’s request.
During the pandemic, Sundgaard and friend Robert McEachren have been hosting an online program on which they discuss politics and other topics, according to the paper. Sungaard has long been politically outspoken, the Star Tribune reported. In 2015 he criticized an entire crowd after someone waved a Confederate flag during an event featuring former President Barack Obama.
“Hate and racism,” Sungaard said during an interview with the newspaper. “I had a great-great-grandfather who fought in the Civil War in the 38th Iowa Infantry. Injured because those, what’s the word we should use, morons and racists in the South wanted to preserve their way of life. They lost.
“Actually what I’ve likened it to, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration, let’s pretend that Germany were a state in the U.S. and they still wanted to fly the Nazi flag. Get real.”