Nick Muzin is Ted Cruz’s Deputy Chief of Staff. Muzin has a Twitter account which isn’t very active, and after his recent experiences, I expect that Muzin wishes he had kept it that way.
Last Thursday, Muzin sent out this brilliant tweet:
Muzin deleted the tweet shortly after it was sent. He then sent out this explanation:
I’m actually inclined to believe Muzin, if only for one one reason: I simply cannot imagine that any member of the human race would be so stupid as to think that the tweet Muzin sent out was factual.
The tweet did Cruz and Muzin no favors, and earned them national coverage on a variety of websites and papers, including Mediate, The Hill, the Washington Post and MSNBC. Perhaps most importantly for Cruz is that the tweet also earned him press in his home state of Texas.
Context is important to remember here, and I mean that in a few ways. Had a Democrat sent out an identical tweet, I think most people would have recognized it as a bad joke. The fact that it came from a staffer to Senator Ted Cruz made the tweet seem much worse, as it is at least possible that Senator Cruz and his supporters could believe such a ridiculous statement.
Furthermore, with only 140 characters to work with, this tweet seems like an insanely stupid joke, no matter who it came from. Again, context is important, and it’s difficult to recognize this tweet as a joke, particularly given that it came from a Senator Cruz staffer. If there is any general lesson to learn here, it’s that you have to be VERY clear with your meanings on Twitter, and that your political opponents will never give you the benefit of the doubt. To that end, use jokes carefully!