The “Most Important Death” in journalism?

The past week or so has been a difficult one for the journalism industry, as it saw the death of NY Times Columnist David Carr and 60 Minutes reporter Bob Simon, as well as the suspension of NBC anchor Brian Williams for the inaccurate retelling of his experiences in the Iraqi War.  Canada saw an additional blow with the closure of the Sun News Network.

It is that closure which inspired today’s fail.  Joan Crockatt is a Canadian MP from Calgary.  In response to an article which discussed journalism’s bad week, Crockatt tweeted the following at the article’s author:

The insensitivity here is obvious: tweeting about the “death” of a network would seem to ignore the pain caused by the actual deaths of Carr and Simon.  Twitter users let Crockatt have it:

Crockatt has not apologized on Twitter, and her only additional tweet on the subject was in response to one user’s criticism:

Otherwise, however, Crockatt has since been silent on the issue.  She’s letting her words stand as is.

Relatively speaking, though the tweet was tone-deaf, this wasn’t a huge mistake.  So why am I writing about it?  Because it was such an easy mistake to avoid, and that’s really the lesson here.  MP Crockatt left herself wide open for attack when she said that the most important “death” of the week wasn’t an actual person dying.  Remember, people can and will very easily twist your words on social media, particularly if you are a politician and people are salivating for the chance to attack you.  This was an insensitive tweet – don’t make Crockatt’s mistake by sending something like this!

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