Ways to make Donald Trump seem sympathetic: Compare him to the Charleston shooter

Donald Trump recently started a war of words with Univision, the Spanish television station.  The dispute started with Trump’s presidential announcement, when Trump called Mexicans “rapists,” among other insults. Univision, which had previously hosted the Miss USA pageant (which is partially owned by Trump), responded by cancelling it’s agreement to air the pageant, specifically sighting Trump’s racist comments.  From there, Trump said that no Univision staffer would be allowed to use Trump’s golf course in Miami.  Univision responded by saying that employees should not stay in Trump properties while on company business.

In true Trump fashion, Trump also took to Twitter to blast the company:

Alright, fine, we’ve got us some corporate warfare going on here.  That warfare accelerated last week, when Univision President Alberto Ciurana made this post to Instagram:


The picture on the left, of course, is of Trump.  The picture on the right is Dylann Storm Roof, the man arrested for killing nine people in Charleston.

Not the swiftest post to make, to say the least.

Ciurana removed the post and apologized:

Trump accepted the apology and pledged to work with Univision in the future in order to gain a better understanding of Hispanic issues…haha, just kidding, he explicitly said “Apology not accepted” and said he was going to sue the network for defamation:

“Well, I think it’s disgraceful. I think he should be ashamed of himself.  He immediately deleted it and the lawyers are going to have a field day.”

Until this post, Univision could, very legitimately, claim the high ground in this fight with Trump.  That changed the moment Ciurana made this post.  It was, of course, exceedingly stupid.  Attacking a public figure – and a bafoon – like Trump, is one thing, but you cannot compare him to a deranged racist who murdered nine people.  This was very stupid.  Ciurana probably let his emotions get the better of him.  Please remember: Think before you post!

Tweets and Consequences

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Guest blog entry: How to manage your time on social media, by Laura Vanderkam

One of the most influential books I’ve ever read in my life was 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Thinkby Laura Vanderkam.  That’s the book that taught me a ton about efficency, including that I needed to start dragging my butt out of bed at 5:30am if I truly wanted to get things done.

A few months ago, I asked Laura if she’d be willing to write a blog entry on social media and time efficency, and she very kindly complied.  That entry is below.  I’ll also add that you should absolutely check out Laura’s website and review her books – they are great reads.


People always come up with something to fill the time. When I was writing my first time management book, 168 Hours, several years ago, I wasn’t yet on Facebook or Twitter. These days, I spend a fair amount of time on both. I’m not quite sure what I did with my time before them, and maybe no one else knows either, but I do know that social media is highly addictive. When people tell me they want to spend their time better, many mention spending less time on the phone (and those compulsive websites) before anything else.

The problem with simply going cold turkey, though, is that for an increasing number of us, social media is part of our jobs. We need to interact with customers, readers, constituents.

On the other hand, social media can consume any amount of time you give it — and it is very easy to give it a lot.

So how should you manage your time on social media?

A good defense starts with a good offense. You want to make sure you create adequate space in your life for the deep work of your job and for fulfilling interactions with your family and friends. Do those things first; social media can fill in around the edges.

Then, it might help to designate times for checking. It’s easy to fall into a habit of checking social media every time you get interrupted. The problem is that in the modern workplace, that can happen a lot. You take a quick phone call — and then cycle through all your sites. You get up to go to the bathroom, and sit down and repeat the cycle. Next thing you know you’re checking dozens of times per day. Even if you do need to be on social media a lot for your job, that seems excessive.

So designate times — and then hold yourself accountable. If you’re trying to do fewer of the mindless checks that eat up time, make a hash mark somewhere every time you visit. Hopefully the desire not to fill a whole page with marks will keep a check on compulsive tendencies.

Finally, commit to using social media as a starting point, rather than as the main format of your relationships. If Facebook reminds you it’s a friend’s birthday, call and sing “Happy Birthday” instead of just posting a few words on her wall. If you follow on article link on Twitter that you find particularly thought-provoking, write the poster a real note thanking him. Then social media becomes actually social, rather than just more screen time.

Laura Vanderkam is the author of I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time. She is also the author of 168 Hours, and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. She blogs at www.LauraVanderkam.com.

Baseball player benched, then suspended, for using Instagram during a game

It’s something we’ve all probably done: You go to the bathroom and grab your phone, putzing around on Instagram or Facebook.  Well, there are times when social media use is inappropriate.  One of those times is in the middle of a baseball game…that you are playing in.

Unfortunately, Pablo Sandoval, third baseman for the Boston Red Sox, didn’t realize that.  Last Wednesday, during the 7th inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves, Sandoval went to the bathroom, went on Instagram, and liked at least one photo.  He was quickly caught by other users:

This action violates Major League Baseball’s social media policy, which expressly prohibits social media use during a game.  As a result, Sandoval was suspended for one game, a punishment which he accepted. To his credit (not that he really had a choice), Sandoval copped to his in-game Instagram use, took responsibility and apologized:

“I know I [messed] up and made a mistake yesterday. I learned from that. I’m a human being. I made a mistake. I apologized to my teammates, the team, the organization, the fans who support us … I didn’t send a message, I hit the like [button]. I was in the bathroom in the seventh inning. It was the wrong time. I learned from that.”

Not a big deal; mistakes happened, and it was handled well by Sandoval.  And hey, it could have been a lot worse: He could have tweeted during a death penalty trial.  The lesson here, of course, is obvious: There is a time and a place for everything.  Even social media use.

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.

J. Crew Executive fired after taking to Instagram to mock those he just fired

J. Crew is an upscale clothing line which is, apparently, having its share of troubles.  The troubles are so bad that, last week, the company laid off 175 employees.

Mass firings are a tragic event, to be taken seriously.  I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to be one of the layoffs, and would think that it would have been extremely difficult to be one of the employees involved in the firing as well, knowing that you were forced into a situation where you had to let go of your friends and colleagues.  Surely, such an event would need be handled with great delicacy and tact, right?

Apparently Alejandro Rhett missed that memo.  Rhett was, until recently, the Vice President of Men’s Merchandising at J. Crew.  The day of the layoffs, Rhett went drinking and uploaded pictures of his evening escapes to Instagram.  He personally uploaded only one picture:

Alejandro Rhett Instagram J. Crew

Hashtags that Rhett used include #nofunhere.  Meanwhile, people Rhett was with uploaded these two pics:

J Crew Instagram photos for David Boyle

J Crew Instagram photos for David Boyle

Some of the less swift hashtags used here include #forthewin #damnitfeelsgoodtobeaganster and #hungergames.

For someone who just laid off friends, Rhett sure seems to be enjoying himself.  And, judging by the hashtags he used and that big ole smile on his face, Rhett seems to not fully grasp the painfulness of the layoffs he just participated in.

Needless to say, Rhett is no longer with J. Crew.  Although J. Crew hasn’t confirmed it, Rhett has apparently been fired from the company.

To some extent, you have to feel bad for Rhett.  Of course the posts he made were exceptionally stupid, and something that needed to be dealt with by his employer.  That being said, the nature of social media is viral, and people are always looking for a new bad guy.  As a result, a stupid post which should have stayed between Rhett and J. Crew, has become international fodder.  This, of course, speaks volumes to the power – and the danger – of social media.

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.

Sheriff’s deputy forced to retire after inappropriate Facebook posts

Until last week, James Myers was a Sheriff’s Deputy in Dane County, Wisconsin.  What happened?  Myers was forced to retire after making two very inappropriate Facebook posts.

Channel 3000 took to Facebook to post a map which showed the locations of a series of shootings in Madison, Wisconsin.  The post then asked the question, “What should be done about this trend?”

Myers responded:

Dane Myers Map

Just in case you cannot read the comments, Myers said, “Send them back to Chicago.” About 30 minutes later, Myers added, “Then nuke Chicago.”

The posts were made on May 15; five days later, it was reported that Myers was under investigation for the posts and put on paid leave.  After the story broke, Sheriff Dave Mahoney took to Facebook to apologize for Myers’ post:

Many of the commenters noted that the comments had a clear racist tinge to them.

It was reported last week that Myers had to retire as a result of the posts.  As noted by the Wisconsin State Journal, Sheriff Mahoney said:

The deputy’s actions “irreparably impaired his ability to perform the duties of a law enforcement officer,” Sheriff Dave Mahoney said, “and as such, he is no longer employed by the Dane County Sheriff’s Office.” Myers made public statements that would “significantly erode the confidence” citizens place in the Sheriff’s Office, Mahoney added.

As always, the conclusion is simple: don’t make stupid posts, and don’t be surprised when stupid posts get you fired – particularly if you are a public official.

Russia says it’s not invading Ukraine – selfies prove otherwise

Selfies can get annoying, and the selfie stick may be the worst invention since the vuvuzela.  However, never in my wildest dreams did I think that selfies would reach the point when they started to affect international affairs.  And yet, as noted by Vox and Vice News:

Vice News’s Simon Ostrovsky, in a new report, tracks the social media postings of a Russian soldier to prove that Putin is lying and that Russia is in fact at war in Ukraine.

The entire story is worth reading; it juxtaposes Ostrovsky in the same positions as a Russian soldier named Bato Dambaev.  The photos show Dambaev near Ukraine, and then IN Ukraine.  In other words, the invasion has, more or less, already begun.

This isn’t the first time I have written about how the stupidity of soldiers is now literally getting people killed; less than two weeks ago, I wrote about how an ISIS selfie resulted in an airstrike on the command compound in which the selfie was taken.  And, in August of last year, a similar story revealed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well.

It’s pretty astounding to me that, in a society as secretive as Russia, the military allows it’s members to hold onto their own personal communication devices.  I would hope that, this being the case, the military (and really, any military!) would make sure to put a premium on training: “Hey, guys, if we are engaged in covert operations, maybe no selfies, mmmm ‘k?”

And yet, here we are.  Who needs military intelligence when you can rely on the egotism of young men?

NRA Board Member blames death of Charleston shooting victims on Charleston victims

As you are almost certainly aware, tragedy occurred last week in Charleston, South Carolina. White supremacist Dylann Storm Roof entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and murdered nine people who were attending Bible study.  Reverend Clementa Pinckney, one of the victims, was a South Carolina State Senator and gun control advocate.

Naturally, this restarted a conversation about gun control and our availability of deadly weapons.  Unfortunately, this also restarted the need for some people to say exceptionally stupid and ignorant things online.  One such individual was Charles Cotton, an NRA board member, who took to TexasCHLForum.com and posted:

“[Pinckney] voted against concealed-carry. Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead. Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.”

In other words, according to Cotton, Reverend Pinckney was responsible for his own death, and the death of eight of his congregants.  Right.

Further digging revealed that NAME isn’t exactly a fan of the United States; in other posts, he mourned the “loss” of the Civil War:

civil war loss

The Slate article notes that Cotton later clarified; he was talking “purely from a states’ rights viewpoint and in light of the exponential growth of federal power after the war.”


In a subsequent interview, Cotton said that he made his comments as a private citizen, not a board member.  The NRA also said that board members do not speak for the NRA, only themselves, in an apparent effort to distance themselves from the remarks.

I don’t want to discuss the pros and cons of gun control or concealed carry; that’s not the point of this post.  I do, however, want to discuss the astounding ignorance of this statement.  Reverend Pinckney and eight of his congregants didn’t die because none of them had a gun; they died because Dylann Storm Roof murdered them.  To make such a simplistic statement confounds logic and humanity.  Also, Cotton said that he made these statements as an individual citizen, not as an NRA Board Member.  However, the big “Join NRA” banner below his signature would seem to contradict that statement.  Like it or not, when you make a statement like this, you are representing more than your own individual views – you are also representing the organizations of which you are a part.

Had Cotton not been an NRA board member, these statements never would have received the kind of publicity that they did; they just would have been written off as the crazy ramblings of an internet commenter.  However, because of Cotton’s position, they became world-wide news, and that’s an important lesson.

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.