CBS has fired Hayley Geftman-Gold, the network’s vice president and senior counsel, after a bizarre and disgraceful tweet saying that she is “not even sympathetic” to victims of the Las Vegas shooting because “country music fans often are Republican gun toters.” We have been discussing the free speech concerns over employees being disciplined for expressing their political or religious viewpoints on social media. However, this is a news network that contractually reserves the right to terminate employees for conduct deemed inimical to its journalistic image or mission.
Geftman-Gold fully vented in her tweeting, proclaiming “If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs [sic] will ever do the right thing.” She then added “I’m actually not even sympathetic bc [sic] country music fans often are Republican gun toters [sic].”
It was a shocking statement with dozens of families grieving this week over the senseless murder of their loved ones. As a mother of three children, one would have hoped that Getfman-Gold could muster some sympathy for the families who lost children and loved ones.
CBS emphasized that Geftman-Gold was a recent hire:
“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 earned her Bachelor’s degree at University of Pennsylvania AND then graduated from Columbia Law School in 2000. She was an associate at the law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher as well as Heller Ehrman. She also worked as Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for MTV Networks. Her husband is Ryan Geftman-Gold, President of Handoff Business Ventures. Geftman-Gold is referenced in a prior article as a Clinton supporter who helped organize a premature “victory party” on election night. (Ironically, Clinton herself was the focus of criticism after launching into an attack of the NRA after telling people to keep politics out of the tragedy). However, there is no prior controversy revealing this type of callous and hateful attitude.
While she was not part of the news division, her comments proved deeply embarrassing for the network, particularly at a time when the major networks have been accused of bias against Trump and Republicans. Obviously, as a lawyer, it is often the case that you must curtail your public comments in the interests of a client.