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Newspaper Cans Editor for Blasting Driver’s License Gender Options


The Burlington Free Press fired its editor Monday night over comments he made about a state plan to add a third gender option to Vermont state driver’s licenses. That’s according to a statement on the paper’s website.

Editor Denis Finley got canned after a Twitter firestorm blew back in the paper’s face. Finley responded this way to the state’s move:  “Awesome! That makes us one step closer to the apocalypse.”

It was one of a series of Tweets that drew immediate blowback from liberals, including former Democratic National Committee chair and former Vermont governor Howard Dean:

However, some of Finley’s former colleagues at other papers came to his defense.

Others were pleased by the move:

The official cause for Finley’s termination was for failing “to adhere to the company’s code of conduct and ethics policy,” which require “overarching values of fairness, balance and objectivity.”

Finley used to be the editor of a different newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia, according to that paper’s coverage of his termination. The Virginian-Pilot reports he worked at that paper for 28 years, serving for ten years as editor. He left to work at a museum for a year before Gannett hired him to work as managing editor of its Burlington, Vermont newspaper.

[Image via screengrab]

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Aaron Keller is an attorney licensed in two states. He holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. During law school, he completed legal residencies in the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General and in a local prosecutor’s office. He was employed as a summer associate in the New Hampshire Department of Safety, which manages the state police, and further served as a summer law clerk for a New York trial judge. Before law school, Keller worked for television stations in New York and in the Midwest, mostly as an evening news anchor and investigative reporter. His original reporting on the Wisconsin murder of Teresa Halbach was years later featured in the Netflix film "Making A Murderer."