Former Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL) is no stranger to controversy. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2010-2012, before being defeated when he first ran for reelection. He has since become a conservative media host who was once kicked off the air for using “racially charged” language. He has also been sued for owing child support to his ex-wife.
Anyway, Walsh is a prolific Twitter user, and last week, took to Twitter to attack CNN and MSNBC for not airing the Charlie Hedbo cartoons. He’s not the only one to do so, and that’s a perfectly valid opinion – that being said, Walsh’s method of launching the attack was unquestionably stupid:
Yes, that’s right, Joe Walsh apparently wants people at CNN and MSNBC to be murdered. Yes, ladies and gentleman, this man was once in Congress.
Naturally, the Twitter backlash against Walsh was swift:
The story also garnered national news headlines, though Walsh refused to back down: The tweet is still up, and in subsequent tweets, Walsh defended his posts as satirical:
Walsh’s posts, of course, were insane. At a time when reporters and other media employees were murdered because of a disagreement over content , a “satirical” post about more media employees getting murdered over content disagreements is what normal people would call beyond reproach. There is a reason that Walsh is a former Congressman, not a current one. Indeed, everything about this man’s style, from the back child support payments, to the racist language, to the inflammatory tweets, helps to prove a central thesis of mine when it comes to social media: Social media does not make people dumber. It just gives people who already have questionable judgement a better opportunity to be dumb, and a bigger megaphone to say stupid things.
No reasonable person would tweet what the former Congressman has tweeted.