And frankly I'm surprised that more conservatives are not backing this girl. She sat quietly and TWEETED that she said mean things about Brownback but didn't actually say them. If she had stood up and started screaming like a lunatic banshee (like most libpukes) than yes, I would have said that was not the venue for such activity and she should be tossed, maybe reprimanded, etc.
But let's look at what she did...she tweeted and one of Brownbacks brownshirts threw a conniption about it and then demanded (along with the school and principal) that she apologize for it, with words that the principal was going to give her. Screw that.
If that happened to me at an Obama event, I would be ten times as pissed as she was.
I know some people are mad at the kid's rudeness, but for this age group Twittering or Facebooking is the equivalent of talking with their friends at the malt shop (for those of you who remember those. :) ) Kids do not consider these activities public, especially when they can limit access to a small number of followers or friends. Sadly, these activities skirt the boundary between public and private, and things you could say to your friends over a soda are not always appropriate online since they are traceable. In fact, EVERYTHING online is traceable.
There was a case a while ago about a young math teacher who had a job at a Catholic school. She was not Catholic, but the school hired her anyway. However, this young teacher registered on her home computer with a website about atheism. She also posted (on her Facebook page) the link an article from the NY Times documenting how much money the Federal government was spending on prayer research. Interestingly, her Facebook page was limited to her group of friends and her students did not have access to it. Nor did they have access to her connection with the atheist website. Yet, somehow, both of these things were found out by the school she was working for, and she was fired. Specifically, she was fired for registering with the atheist website, NOT for anything she did at school. (She regularly attended mass and prayers with the children and no one could tell from her work life what she did at home.) The Catholic school however fired her for cause and tried to deny her unemployment benefits. Eventually, she got her unemployment, but it took a fight and national exposure.
Now, one could argue the morality of working for a Catholic school when one has no belief in God or Jesus, and I would agree. Religious schools have an underlying religious function and should hire their own. I would never work in a religious institution where I disagreed with the religion. But legally speaking, the teacher was honest with the school when she was hired about not being a Catholic, she fulfilled her job duties, and was popular with the kids. She was fired for a website that she read and registered with at home, in private. But, as we are all learning, the internet is NEVER private, even when you control access to your Facebook pages or Twitter feed. There's always a way around it. And mistakes you might make by posting certain pictures or screeds are cached, so you never really get away from it.
In the end, let's hope that the kid who twittered about Brownback learns the valuable lesson of NOT posting every last thought she has on the internet. Everything is traceable.
Oh, for the love of...
A little perspective, please. First, a lesson in staff work. Any public official has a staff, whose function is to keep him/her informed so that the official can make informed decisions/statements/votes or what have you. The staff also protects the official from public scorn, ridicule or insult. Any staff that isn't following social media isn't doing its job, so I don't think that anyone here would argue that they had no right to read what is being written about their boss.
Now, the governor has just had a meet and greet with a bunch of high school kids. If I were on the governor's staff and I was following up by seeing what was written about him, and I'd read that tweet, the first thing that I'd have done was gone back and checked to see if she actually had been rude to the governor. I'd also contact the organization and let them know that the person who made the comment would not be welcomed back for future events. It's not suppression of her free speech rights, but a simple staff exercise in protecting the boss, who probably knew nothing about the incident until it went public.
Now, as to the conduct of the student, sorry, but not much sympathy there. She falsely claimed that she'd been rude and abusive to the governor in her tweet. She had to know that somebody would follow up to see if it was true. In addition, she was on a sponsored trip and her tweet reflected, not just on her, but on the school and the organization. What this person doesn't get is that the event in the governor's office isn't about her. It's about her school and the whole group. If she didn't want to be there, then she shouldn't have gone, but having gone, she should have been polite.
And, BTW, the opposite holds true. When Obama came to FT Hood after MAJ Hasan's rampage, the troops in attendance were under orders to conduct themselves professionally and not embarrass the post, the army or their commands, regardless of their personal politics, and they did what they were told to do. If we could put on a happy face for a commander in chief who, as a senator, had accused us of war crimes, then this teenager could do the same for her state's governor.
Let's cut the BS about brownshirts and suppression of free speech, shall we?
1. Good PR move for Brownback
2. Young people forget that the "private" messages they text or post online are not, in fact, private, but can be monitored and traced.
3. People have lost their jobs for things they post on the internet, even when their work on the job is exemplary.
4. I hope that the teenager in question learns not to post every personal thought online and guards herself a little better.
And yeah, the girl's comment did not reflect well on herself and the school, but had she said the same thing at McDonald's with her friends after the fact, or had passed a paper note to a friend during the speech itself, the Senator's staff would have never known. The lesson is about not treating the internet like your diary or your hangout with friends.
Last edited by Elspeth; 11-29-2011 at 12:19 AM.
I disagree and here's why. The issue had already reached a First Amendment stage and, thanks to some recent public cases, many people have become afraid that their "private" internet posts might be used against them at work or school. The actions of Brownback's staff fed directly into those fears. His staff not only monitored what was being said about the Governor--which lots of public figures do--but, instead of just ignoring a tiny tweet to an extremely limited number of people, Brownback's staff played hardball and traced the poster of the tweet to her school, informed the principal (not the 18-year-old herself or her parents), and demanded that the principal elicit an apology. This plays into the fears of every person who posts on the net, especially under his or her own name. (And, of course, even if you post under a pseudonym, your identity can be procured using your ISP or phone number.)Not really. It's never good for someone of his stature to get involved in something like this, especially for him to apologize when he did nothing wrong. The best thing that he could have done was make light of the incident but otherwise not get involved.
Blowing it off with a laugh would not have addressed the very real fear that an elected official (or any person of means) could go after a random and limited tweet or post among friends in a small group. It also would not have addressed the impression that Brownback had used electronic media to be especially vindictive about a very tiny incident. If Brownback is willing to track a teenager tweeting something rude to a few friends, what might he be willing to do to a constituent who posts very real, legitimate complaints? Might he hire an attorney to open a nuisance lawsuit against someone who is merely posting truthful information? How mafia is he willing to get on someone's ass? That's what would have remained as the residue if Brownback had simply laughed it off.
Brownback did absolutely right PR-wise by reaffirming the First Amendment and apologizing to the teen. This wasn't about the girl herself: it was about a good portion of Americans on the internet who wonder how many politicians are monitoring what they might say on the internet and what these politicians might do about it. Brownback's move was the exact right move in this case.
Good luck with teaching people not to make side comments to their friends. Most adults make side comments all the time, especially in interminably long meetings:) ; what they don't do (if they're smart) is tweet anything. The lesson is if this young woman has a side comment--mature, immature, or otherwise--she needs to make it vocally and to someone who won't post it.That's a very small part of it. The real lesson is not to be a little snot. If she had passed a note to a friend during the speech and gotten caught, she'd have been taken out of the event, put on the bus and told to wait there until the governor was finished. Then, she'd have been told that she wasn't welcome at future events. What DUmpsters who whined about her being punished don't get is that punishment in this kind of situation isn't about suppression of free speech or some other nonsense, but about molding someone into an adult. Schools used to do that, or at least they tried to. This kid has learned that if she makes a noxious but politically correct statement, then she will get away with it because everyone will back down and let her off the hook.
I know you think she was disrespectful, but consider our current political climate. Between cable TV and talk radio, the political discourse has become extremely nasty and coarse. It simply wasn't like this when I was a kid. Walter Cronkite never let it slip if he thought some politico was an ass. He simply interviewed people. His editorial comments were always kept separate from the reporting of the news. Now, we have talk radio and 24-hour cable news in which ratings are built on being as rude and obnoxious as possible. This is one area where I actually agree with John Stuart Liebowitz of The Daily Show fame: the discourse around politics is not at all helpful to the country as a whole. It, in fact, erodes respect on all sides.
I'm not trying to excuse the girl's rudeness, but maybe to explain the source. If adults want their children to act better around political leaders, they need to demand a different kind of discourse around politics. Barring that, children will learn what their parents and the media teach them.
Last edited by Elspeth; 11-29-2011 at 04:34 AM.
This is NOT a 1st amendment issue, it is a lack of manners and a rude little POC that needs daddy's belt across her backside and locked in her room for about six weeks. This is indicative of a larger problem with out society. I can't stand nearly all the POS on the left, including the CIC. I still would not publicly disrespect him or his minions if they had invited me (had I accepted), to a function.
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