24 Hours of Social Media Crackpots Taking Over the News

The January 6 insurrection and Dave Chappelle have been hot topics on social media lately
The January 6 insurrection and Dave Chappelle have been hot topics on social media lately
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo, Presley Ann/PMC

Last week, we watched the HBO documentary Four Hours at the Capitol about the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 6. A protester was fatally shot trying to wiggle through a broken door into the Senate chamber and a policeman got hit with a fire extinguisher and later died.

One of the rioters, now charged, told the documentarian that just because everybody was carrying a Trump banner didn’t mean that everybody was a supporter of Mr. Trump.

Another said that when the president told them that the Democrats were killing 800 children every day, they had to go in, and would do it again.

At 8 o’clock the next morning I saw a headline about a fatal movie set shooting on the front cover of the New York Post saying that Alec Baldwin asked why was he given a hot gun.

In the Post’s version, an eyewitness told Showbiz 411 that East Hampton resident and the film’s star, Baldwin, kept saying he had never been handed a hot gun and had no idea how badly the victims were hurt or that he had fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Around 9:30 a.m. on Twitter, comments appeared unannounced on my iPhone, addressing Baldwin about this shooting in a manner so cruel I won’t even repeat them here. Further along I read the tweets from hundreds of people writing things like, “Don’t pay attention to the social media, Alec, this was not your fault. We are praying for you.”

At 11:30 a.m. I found an old newspaper clipping about an assistant principal in the Hamptons who was fired. The school board declined to say why (it would burn the children’s ears, you know), but a person in the know said it had been recently revealed that three years earlier the man wrote an email in which he used a derogatory term for a person who was not Caucasian.

At 2 p.m., the story broke about comedian Dave Chappelle. His Netflix special The Closer was the third most-watched show on Netflix as of Oct. 12. But now there was trouble. Much of his routine involved jokes told at the expense of minority groups, including his own (which is African American.) Others in the industry wanted the show pulled and banned.

Jaclyn Moore, the white, transgender showrunner for the Netflix series Dear White People was one. She wrote she will never work for Netflix again because of The Closer. Then there was B. Pagels-Minor, a Black, trans, nonbinary former Netflix employee who said they got fired for stating they were helping organize a protest against Netflix. Then came backlash. People were outraged that a white person had been selected to be the showrunner for Dear White People, when the producers could have chosen a Black person.

At 3 p.m., I interviewed a man who intends to start a website designed to bring people together. “People from the far left and far right can keep their opinions but still love one another,” he said. “Of course, it all stems from that bastard Trump.”

At 10 p.m. I got into bed. Oh, for the days before every crackpot in America used social media to take over the news from the journalists.

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