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Media Meltdowns

Marc Caputo Leaves NBC News One Week After Gloating About Evicting Tenant

Mark Caputo
Screenshot: MSNBC

Politics reporter Marc Caputo announced on Tuesday that he is leaving his job at NBC News. This sudden career change comes one week after Caputo spent a day chronicling on Instagram his recent eviction of a tenant renting a home Caputo owns in Key West, through screenshots of text conversations with the tenant and property manager.

Caputo joked in his Instagram posts about airing the eviction on live television, repeatedly called the tenant a "junkie," and made history's least appropriate reference to Mao Zedong. He also responded to the property manager's sympathy for the tenant by saying that he hopes the tenant “enjoys the sex in prison.”

NBC News declined to comment last week on Caputo's posts and treatment of his tenant. When reached by phone today, an NBC spokesperson would not comment on the record about the details of Caputo's departure. A phone number Defector used to reach Caputo last week now appears to be disconnected, and a voicemail left at a different number was not returned before publication.

Last week, Caputo provided a statement to Defector about how his attitude toward the eviction was "born out of deep frustration that I transmuted into mockery of a terrible situation," but accused the tenant of ruining the property, failing to pay rent, lying, and "disturbing another tenant." Caputo described the eviction as "the most heartbreaking situation" in his decade-long experience as a landlord, a sentiment that he very much failed to communicate when shaming the distressed person being forcibly kicked out.

In a way, Caputo's ruthlessness shows the essential conflict between people who need housing and people who've seized control of the housing. His evident indifference toward the tenant's circumstances is an unavoidable byproduct of a system set up to prioritize a landlord's right to extract profit.

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