Less than two weeks after his controversial hiring, The Guardian newspaper has announced it was parting ways with conservative American commentator Joshua Treviño, citing his failure to disclose conflicts of interest.
The British newspaper’s move came after its decision earlier this month to bring Treviño on staff to cover U.S. politics was heavily criticized by a number of readers, who have accused the columnist of spreading anti-Muslim sentiment.
Many were particularly enraged by comments the former Bush administration speechwriter made on social networking site Twitter that appeared to endorse the killing by Israeli forces of Americans on a flotilla delivering aid to Gaza.
Those critics rejected his denial that he had “applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings” and called for the paper to cancel his hiring.
But just nine days after his hiring, the paper and Treviño issued a joint statement Friday, saying they had parted ways after deeming he had violated The Guardian’s editorial code by failing to disclose his business interests in Malaysia when he wrote a February 2011 column for the paper about the country.
"Under our guidelines, the relationship between Joshua and the agency should have been disclosed before the piece was published in order to give full clarity to our readers," said Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of Guardian U.S., in the statement.
In the statement, Treviño conceded he had violated The Guardian’s policies but insisted he had done nothing unethical.
"I vigorously affirm that nothing unethical was done and I have been open with the Guardian in this matter. Nevertheless, the Guardian's guidelines are necessarily broad, and I agree that they must be respected as such," Treviño said.