"Sue-Ann Levy's tweet on the U.S. presidential debate had an inappropriate hashtag. The tweet doesn’t reflect the views of the Toronto Sun," the newspaper posted to its Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon.
The Sun's response came after a tweet from Levy during Monday night's presidential debate set off a firestorm of criticism online.
The conservative columnist tweeted: "Obama says he 'will stand' with Israel if attacked and they are a 'true friend.' His nose is growing again. #MuslimBS."
It was the #MuslimBS hashtag, seemingly a reference to the conspiracy theories surrounding Obama's religion, that led journalists and other users to repeatedly attack Levy online on Monday night and throughout Tuesday. You can read many of the most interesting tweets in the slideshow below.
STORY CONTINUES BELOW SLIDESHOW
The Sun's editor-in-chief, James Wallace, told Torontoist Levy was on vacation when the tweet was sent out (in Boca Raton, Florida, where the debate was held) and that "she did not intend the hashtag to appear racist."
Users on Twitter have been quick to suggest the Sun should implement a stronger response, with some suggesting she should lose her job.
Besides being the municipal affairs columnist for the Sun, Levy also ran unsuccessfully as the Progressive Conservative candidate in the provincial byelection in the Ontario riding of St. Paul's in 2009.
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