For the past couple weeks, I’ve been more introspective about posts and each time I think, “Man, I should have covered X.” Fortunately for me, Adrastos and A have been on the dime the next day about “affluenza,” the “Duck Dynasty Dumbass” and other fine moments in what happens when the bat decides to shit.
Today, that changes…
If we’ve learned nothing this year, it’s that talking to regular media and playing with social media can be dangerous, especially when you let your guard down and tell people what you really think.
As far as Phil Robertson was concerned, he had to know he was playing with live ammo. It’s not like a rogue “gotcha” journalist showed up and sneak attacked him while he was drunk and muttering at the bar. He’s talking to a reporter from GQ and he comes up with some horrific stereotypes about sinful gays who just have some sort of illness that has them inexplicably craving anus. (And if we really want to get into stereotypes, what in the hell is GQ doing talking to this Duck Dynasty Dimwit? How do those paths cross?)
Malaka? You betcha. Here’s one even better/worse today:
Justine Sacco, a person you probably never heard of, who works for a company you never heard of as the director of PR might never be heard from again after today.
Sacco tweeted from her London stop that she was heading to Africa, before noting: “Hope I don’t get AIDS.”
She’s the HEAD OF PUBLIC RELATIONS for a corporation that oversees a number of online outlets including match.com and the Daily Beast. So you have the public voice of this Internet conglomerate making a horrifically insensitive comment in a way that it can be rapidly shared and criticized by people who don’t think AIDS is a joke. Right now, you’re probably thinking, this can’t get any worse…
“Just kidding,” she added in the tweet. “I’m white!”
Ow. Just. Ow.
Since the “Is we learning yet?” crew has yet to fully grasp how media outlets work and how bipeds manage to survive this cruel world of “political correctness,” allow me to offer a few thoughts:
1) From Gov. PBJ to former Gov. Sarah Palin, there appears to be misunderstanding regarding Robertson’s right to free speech. The First Amendment notes that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech…” The governors (and every other half-wit who reads the Sunday comics with a yellow Hi-Lite pen) have noted that Phil is free to say what he feels in this “free country” of ours. They’re right. Congress hasn’t made a law stopping him from saying anything. However, there are always ramifications for saying whatever you say. Last time I checked, A&E isn’t part of the government. Private companies can do what they want in regard to speech.
3) Twitter is a real thing that gets information out to lots and lots of people. It also archives shit. When you find yourself upset by those “illegals” who are making noise on a bus, fearful that a large group of Kenyans will force-feed you an AIDS-riddled zebra burger or enthralled by your coworker’s tits, step away from the keyboard. Chances are, the dumber your thoughts, the more they will be retweeted or found years later. Don’t tweet and drink. Don’t tweet and drive. Don’t tweet and race-bait. It’s a safe bet this will come back to haunt you.
There have been enough media disasters out there in the past few years that have served to reinforce the point that glib or uninformed comments on race, gender, disease, rape and LGBTQ issues never end well for the commenter.
Multiply that by a factor of ten if the person making the comments a) is a straight white guy who doesn’t fully understand how good he has it, b) is a straight white woman who doesn’t fully understand how good she has it, c) is invoking the Bible as some sort of defense of whatever the hell they are saying or d) any combination of a and b with c while factoring in a Twitter account.
I’m wondering if we need to say this to these idiots in some sort of special code that will help fully clarify how goddamned dumb this is.
Then again, we are still having trouble explaining to these folks why they can’t use the “n” word if black people are allowed to say it.