Twitter might encourage hot-take clicks when someone important dies. On Saturday afternoon, Politico cybersecurity reporter Eric Geller couldn’t help but trash recently deceased Pope Benedict XVI with this (linking to the New York Times obit): “Homophobic pedophile protector and Hitler Youth alumnus dead at 95.”
After he received a rash of harsh replies (and perhaps some notes from angry Politico editors), the tweet was deleted. DeSantis press aide Jeremy Redfern saved it:
Why’d you delete this, @ericgeller?
— Jeremy Redfern (@JeremyRedfernFL) December 31, 2022
Daily Wire reporter Megan Basham offered the context that exposed Geller’s misinformation:
For the reprehensible tweets circling from barstool conservatives, Politico journalists and others about Benedict, some context:
“His parents, staunch Catholics, were opposed to Nazism — and personally affected by it.https://t.co/UZsR844ZoI
— Megan Basham (@megbasham) December 31, 2022
Under that, Basham tweeted:
Biographer John Allen said that Cardinal Ratzinger disclosed in 1996 that the family had a 14-year-old cousin with Down syndrome who was taken away by Nazis in 1941 for “therapy.” The family soon after learned the boy was dead, likely exterminated for his disability.
As a young man, Joseph Ratzinger and his brother, Georg, were compelled to join the Hitler Youth and, in 1943, Joseph was drafted into the German military. Toward the end of the war, the future pope deserted his post and was captured by U.S. forces. He would return to seminary, along with his brother, upon his release.
Brett T. at Twitchy added this gem, beautifully illustrating Geller loved some Catholic leaders!
— Sunny McSunnyface (@sunnyright) December 31, 2022
Geller could also work at HBO. As Brent Bozell wrote when Pope Benedict resigned from the papacy, they aired a filmmaker calling Benedict a “criminal.”