Journalist's 'sick' tweets following deadly Manchester bombing

An American freelance journalist has found himself the subject of online vitriol after tweeting 'sick jokes' shortly after it was confirmed people had been killed in the Manchester bombing.

While most people were tweeting their shock and condolences for the victims, David Leavitt mocked Ariana Grande's music and repeated a joke about her last name.

"MULTIPLE CONFIRMED FATALITIES at Manchester Arena. The last time I listened to Ariana Grande I almost died too," he tweeted.


The tweet came in for the kind of criticism that would have most people quickly retracting and apologising, but he followed it up with a joke about Starbucks.

"Honestly, for over a year I thought an Ariana Grande was something you ordered at Starbucks," he said minutes later.


At least 22 people were killed after a bomb was detonated in the foyer of Manchester Arena as people were exiting Grande's concert. Many of those killed and injured were teenagers and children. In the chaos that followed, frantic parents would spend hours attempting to track down their children.

It was during those moments of chaos and uncertainty that Mr Leavitt sent the tweets. They came in for immediate criticism.

"Some people would do anything for likes or retweets, even lowering themselves to making cruel jokes about tragedy that claimed the lives of children," tweeted Catherine Gill.

Others called him sick, disrespectful and cruel.

But he wasn't finished.

"Too soon?" he tweeted an hour later.

Another hour passed before he tweeted an apology.

"Sorry 4 offending. Didn't realize the magnitude of the tragedy. I always make stupid jokes about whatevers trending. Condolences 2 families [sic]", he said.

Mr Leavitt writes video game reviews on a freelance basis for websites including CBS and Yahoo!

Unfortunately for one established author with several published books to his name, the controversial tweeter is not the only David Leavitt in Amercia.

David Leavitt, game reviewer (left), not to be confused with David Leavitt, novelist (right) (Screengrabs)
David Leavitt, game reviewer (left), not to be confused with David Leavitt, novelist (right) (Screengrabs)

Author David Leavitt has written a number of novels and short stories, does not have a twitter account and is under some strain following his namesake's tweets.

"Since yesterday evening I have received 17 emails, some of them threatening, intended for him," he told Newshub.

"The idea that anyone might be misled into thinking that I wrote those posts is very saddening to me.

"It's experiences like this that keep me off social media."

David Leavitt - the game reviewer - has now deleted his tweet mocking Grande's music.