Entertainment

A Comedian’s Shameless, Horrible Tweet

No excuse for hate-mongering on social media or anywhere else — and saying it's a 'joke' doesn't work

Comedian Patton Oswalt is known for his massive Twitter following as a sometimes poetic and thoughtful person, especially when he touches on national struggles or the loss of loved ones. He’s made people laugh through projects like “The King of Queens” and “Ratatouille” — but the man has also gone viral for his healing thoughts on the unexpected passing of his wife and other issues.

However, in a recent tweet — which has since been deleted — Oswalt let go of all thoughtfulness and seemed to do nothing less than promote terrorism. On Friday, Iyad el-Bagdhadi, a human rights activist and self-described “Islamic libertarian,” tweeted, “Trump has properties all over the world. Terrorists will have a long list of targets that are literally owned by POTUS and bear his name.”

Oswalt’s response on Twitter — which was screenshot by another user and can’t be shown in full here because of its graphic language — read, “Holy f***. Come ‘n’ get it, terrorists!”

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The response to Oswalt’s shameless, hateful words was swift and strong. “#Twitter allows such gross hatred of the president-elect of U.S. that advocacy of terror results in no consequences. Disgrace,” tweeted @gradaradio.

“It now appears that @pattonoswalt is a supporter of ISIS who wants terrorists to attack trump properties,” tweeted @DavidDzierba.

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In a followup tweet in which he half-apologized for his highly inappropriate and distasteful “joke,” Oswalt said, “Deleted my first quoted RT of this ‘cuz my horrified irony landed wrong. To be clear: this is awful & people are gonna get hurt.”

In other follow-up tweets, Oswalt called it “a badly worded joke,” but then said he “WASN’T kidding” and that he was “trying to express my sincere horror at the situation.” Clearly all of these things could have been said or articulated in that first short tweet.

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There is no excuse at all for hate-mongering. While Oswalt may try to convince people he made a lame attempt at ironic humor, it’s hard not to believe that his thoughtless quote fits into a larger issue in terms of public figures and their treatment of President-Elect Donald Trump. The rules of respect for the White House and the individual who resides there seem to be undergoing a massive rewrite every day.

From actor Michael Shannon promoting civil war and voter death, to Oswalt gleefully tweeting about what could be a serious and dangerous issue, we have public figures on the Left who simply refuse to show a modicum of respect for someone who will be president and have a major effect on America’s future and on that of the free world.

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Twitter has also been on a purge to suspend accounts that promote hate or the abuse and mistreatment of groups of people. Many accounts have been deleted, and actor James Woods even quit the service over fears of censorship. Yet it appears the social media platform found nothing at all wrong with Oswalt’s words.

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