Fridays are typically slow news days in the business world, which is a good thing, because veteran business reporter Charlie Gasparino was extremely busy this Friday.
The Fox Business star, formerly of CNBC and The Wall Street Journal (and occasional blogger for the Huffington Post), spent much of the day reenacting World War II, playing the role of all of the combatants at once in a sprawling brawl with pretty much everybody else on Twitter. In the process, he managed to belittle and insult writers and editors at news outlets from American Banker all the way to BuzzFeed.
It started innocently enough, with a tweet about a tip Gasparino said he got about The Bond Buyer, a municipal-bond trade publication for which he'd once worked:
Not long after, he tweeted that Bond Buyer was not closing. Whew!
But the damage was already done. That first tweet of Gasparino's was not well-received by some of his fellow financial journalists, who thought it reckless. James McTague, Washington editor for Barron's, tweeted what looks like some gentle joshing:
That was all it took for Gasparino to threaten violence, carefully masked in a veil of mis-spellings and abbreviations:
Wow! That escalated quickly! But it had only just begun.
Richard Melville of SourceMedia, the parent company of Bond Buyer, also fired back at Gasparino:
Gasparino observed that Bond Buyer has pretty much sucked ever since he left and is probably due for the scrapheap anyway:
Melville gave as good as he got:
But Gasparino fired back with yet another tweet about Bond Buyer's irrelevance:
At which point Heather Landy, editor-in-chief of American Banker magazine, another SourceMedia outlet, joined the fray, which brought a withering response from Gasparino:
Landy may not be dumb, but she was dumbfounded:
Gasparino fired back with a one-two-three punch of a synonym for "dumb," yet another shot at his former employer's relevance and an invitation for Landy to go perform an unnatural act on her self ("gfy"):
At which point AB's Washington bureau chief Rob Blackwell came to the defense of his colleague:
Gasparino took a breath and responded in a fairly even-handed way:
But the fight was on:
By this point, the media blog JimRomenesko.com had caught wind of the fight and written it up. That post included a letter from journalist Dan Mitchell, who called Gasparino "severely emotionally stunted. He constantly hurls vicious insults at people and gets into long, juvenile pissing matches."
Mitchell also tweeted:
When Romenesko asked him for comment about Mitchell's criticisms, Gasparino tweeted:
BuzzFeed writer Mariah Summers wrote up the fight, calling Gasparino out for "poorly spelled tweets," and then tweeted a link to her own article, like you do, which brought yet another salvo from Gasparino:
In response to another tweet by BuzzFeed writer Matthew Zeitlin, Gasparino laid out his demands:
This naturally attracted the attention of BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith, which sparked another skirmish:
All the while, Gasparino was still battling with multiple SourceMedia employees at once, using his secret weapon: belittling their Twitter follower count:
Update: Gasparino's Twitter response to this story:
The attention has clearly not slowed Gasparino down. Within hours, demonstrating how well he punches "up not down," he was belittling a person with 25 followers as "fat, dumb and bald," telling him to "have another twinkie" and giving him "some advice: salads."
Correction: Speaking of mis-spelling: An earlier version of this post incorrectly spelled the name of the website JimRomenesko.com.