The media world was shocked and saddened on Saturday by the sudden death of Eric Chase Bolling Jr., the son of former Fox News host Eric Bolling.
In his public comments on the death of his son, Bolling tweeted that there was “no sign of self harm at this point” and to “please respect our grieving period.”
Ostensibly, Bolling tweeted that because TMZ, in its initial report about Eric Chase's death, said that he “committed suicide, TMZ has learned, hours after his father was forced out of the network.” All direct references to suicide were later deleted from the post's text, but it's still in the article's URL and this passage is still in the article:
His dad and FNC parted company after the co-host of 'The Five' allegedly sent lewd text messages to co-workers along with photos of his genitals.
Bolling vowed to clear his name, but the timing suggests it might have been too much to handle for his son.
As well as this update:
12:40 PM PT — Well placed FNC sources tell TMZ ... Eric Chase died from a drug overdose. We're told he was having a hard time dealing with the trouble his dad was having at the network. Our sources say he was extremely embarrassed by the stories and was “emotionally upset.”
As of this writing, TMZ has not yet responded to a request for comment on the change. In light of the narrative reported by the gossip website, blame started to be thrown at Yashar Ali, who broke the story of the sexual harassment allegations against the elder Bolling for the Huffington Post.
(While Bolling had not outright denied the report, with his lawyer saying that he “recalls no such inappropriate communications” and “does not believe he sent any such communications,” he still sued Ali — but not Huffington Post — for defamation.)
Ali's Twitter mentions have been inundated with users either blaming him for the death of Bolling Jr. or saying that he was only tweeting condolences chiding those who celebrated the loss's effect on his father to assuage “his guilt.” This is happening in response to both Bolling-related tweets and those that have nothing to do with him. For example:
Even other media figures tweeting their condolences have been hit with responses blaming Ali:
Conservative commentator Pamela Geller even went as far as to tweet to all of her followers that Ali is a “murderer” with “Bolling's blood on your hands” in posts spaced a few hours apart on Saturday night:
Jennifer Bendery, a colleague of Ali's at Huffington Post, responded to the second one:
Silicon Valley Twitter personality Shauna Wight called out the trolls in a tweet of her own, which MSNBC's Joy Reid replied to:
Ali, for his part, has not responded to the trolls.