Posted on | December 21, 2013 | 50 Comments
— Yes, Nick Searcy! (@yesnicksearcy) December 20, 2013
— SquatchPride69 (@AceofSpadesHQ) December 20, 2013
Just in case you missed The Big Thing on Twitter, a P.R. person named Justine Sacco was about to depart for a holiday trip when she decided to share with her 100 or so Twitter followers this joke:
“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS.
Just kidding. I’m white!”
This is, as Ace of Spades pointed out, a familiar sort of ironic liberal hipster humor: Sacco was mocking white privilege, get it?
But then a funny thing happened, and by “funny,” of course I mean, sadistically cruel. About three hours later, Andrew Kaczynski of Buzzfeed jumped on Sacco with this comment:
This may be the worst tweet of all of time. actually the worst tweet. https://t.co/x2tbQf5Kd7
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) December 20, 2013
Kaczynski has more than 100,000 followers, and whatever controversy had previously attended Sacco’s joke turned into an uncontrollable firestorm. Then, evidently, BuzzFeed assigned a reporter to “report” on the conflagration that BuzzFeed had itself done so much to ignite. I mean, when you call something “the worst tweet of all of time” . . .
Without regard to the tastefulness of Sacco’s joke — which was, as I say, a liberal kind of joke — since when did “Let’s Get Somebody Fired for Christmas” become a popular sport?
This @justinesacco Thought Traitor has had it too good for too long. It's about time this person I never heard of got what's comin' to her.
— SquatchPride69 (@AceofSpadesHQ) December 20, 2013
Of course, there are those who have made the obvious and ironic point that Sacco works in the field of public relations and therefore should have known better than to go “edgy” with her online humor, but on the other hand, I kinda noticed Kaczynski is enthusiastic about “marriage equality,” and maybe this was about political ax-grinding: “How dare you joke about AIDS, you hetero woman!”
Maybe? Just throwing that out there, because we have been reminded in recent days that some varieties of special pleading are treated as a universal crusade for Social Justice: It’s not enough that gay people should be zealous for gay rights. Everyone must as zealous as GLAAD, or else you risk a diagnosis of homophobia.
Anyway, for all I know, Andrew Kaczynski’s straight, but I’m sick of the expectation that We’re All Down for the Gay Agenda Now.
The larger point that Ace was making is, whence this unseemly gusto for destroying random nobodies on the Internet? And I’m sure maybe you think you catch a whiff of hypocrisy, because some of us don’t mind throwing a few elbows online.
Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey, anyone?
But there was a rationale there. Ms. Passey had posted a preposterously egotistical self-description that began:
I am a very high-quality woman. I know that sounds arrogant, but let’s consider the facts . . .
That was 2006 and Ace’s reaction is still funny as hell today, which is an important point, the difference between:
- Making fun of somebody; and
- Trying to get somebody fired from their job.
And there was also the matter of equivalence: Ms. Passey was a blogger and Ace is a blogger, so this was one blogger using his own blog to criticize another blogger whereas by contrast, Andrew Kaczynski was wielding the BuzzFeed flamethrower against a lady with 100 Twitter followers because she made a dumb joke.
Twelve words! A joke on Twitter and, hey, let’s get her fired.
Have I been wantonly cruel to people online? Sure, but I don’t think I’ve ever barbecued somebody merely for 12 words on Twitter.
Most of my digital hate crimes have been aimed at feminists, which is so much fun because they never really expect it. By which I mean that my typical target is a 20-something Women’s Studies major who only recently escaped the campus cocoon and is employed in a workplace where the tenets of feminist ideology are just taken for granted. Kill babies because patriarchy!
Also (and maybe I’m the only one who’s noticed this) feminists are accustomed to having their cake and eating it, too. On the one hand, women are entirely equal to men in every way, but on the other hand, how dare you say mean things to a girl?
Feminism is not only a dangerous and misguided ideology, it’s also a scam, a hustle, a racket — a dishonest attempt to gain personal advantage by disguising selfishness as humanitarian philanthropy: Generating quota hires and professional sinecures for women from which they can never be fired, no matter how incompetent they are, because that would be sexist discrimination. And don’t you even dare talk back to these wicked little entitled monsters.
Heads, she wins. Tails, you’re a brutal misogynist.
When people begin declaring that it is immoral to disagree with them — which is what feminists mean when they hurl the epithet “sexist” at their critics — excuse me for thinking I hear, in the distance, the sound of hobnailed boots marching on broken glass.
Totalitarians nowadays speak the language of “fairness,” and these distaff brownshirts can expect no courtesy from me.
Sonny Bunch at Free Beacon rounded up some of the more bloodthirsty remarks aimed at Justine Sacco, none of which I endorse, unless someone could produce evidence that Justine Sacco supports Planned Parenthood, in which case, to hell with her — she should have her eyes jabbed out with rusty knives and rabid jackals should feast upon her bloated festering corpse.
Hahaha, just kidding — satire!
IAC has officially "parted ways" with Justine Sacco, the former PR director whose racist tweet sparked online outcry. http://t.co/IrGsTdOlxU
— Natalie DiBlasio (@ndiblasio) December 21, 2013
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) December 21, 2013
UPDATE: John Nolte at Breitbart:
Sacco is a young, professional, New York woman. Chances are about 99.9% that she’s a BuzzFeed-loving, Obama-voting, MSNBC addict.
Which leads to the most important question…
Why did BuzzFeed and others gin up a journalistic assassination squad to hit some nobody named Justine Sacco? . . .
Is this group now so addicted to the taste of bloody scalps that no one is safe — that any obscure citizen with only 174 Twitter followers can have their social media door broken into and lives ruined by the likes of BuzzFeed: Speech Detectives?
Or maybe it is something else.
It could be pointed out that Sacco was employed by IAC, the same company that owns The Daily Beast, which is sort of generally a competitor to BuzzFeed, which would provide an incentive. Or maybe somebody at BuzzFeed just hated Sacco for personal reasons. On the other hand, it may have been entirely random.