Jason Rose twitter fiasco illustrates important points about humor, civility

29 Nov 2011 02:06 pm
Posted by: Donna

Hey kids! So my Arizona Guardian digest email (I should get around to renewing my subscription) reported that Arizona PR magnate Jason Rose got himself in hot water and was fired from his gig with Special Olympics for the following dickish tweet about spectators of a Coyotes game.

“usc-ucla? Felt like was sitting at a newport beach yacht club. Coyotes? Midgets, special ed and axel rose wannabes nearby.”

One of the fairly immutable laws of humor is that good humor punches up, not down. Jason Rose punches down, always. Which is why he’s not funny, ever, and everyone knows it. Even the people who laugh at Rose’s schtick because he’s a rich white guy (rich white guys tend to have people around them who will pretend they’re funny) know that Jason Rose is not funny. He’s mean. Why the Special Olympics would hire a mean person to do PR for them and then be surprised when he eventually says something mean about their participants is beyond me, but they did and I’m glad they at least realized their mistake and gave him and his firm the boot.

I’ve been wanting to blog about the high school student in Kansas who tweeted that Gov. Sam Brownback sucks and blows a lot and got in trouble with her school because one of Brownback’s staffers saw the tweet and whined to the school about it. I totally defended her on facebook and still do. She was exercising free speech and Brownback’s staff and her principal’s response (trying to force her to write an apology letter and attaching the incident to her permanent record) were gross abuses of authority. Inevitably, some of my fellow liberals got all etiquette nanny on the girl about her “tone” and pearl-clutchy over the horrible “incivility” that’s destroying public discourse and whatnot. Which is unfortunate, because I tend to expect liberals to be critical thinkers and better able to make distinctions between silly tweets by a high schooler and a public officials acting like Joe McCarthy in response to it. It’s the latter kind of behavior that’s the real threat to civil society. And just in case anyone wants to accuse me of hypocrisy for condemning Jason Rose but not the Kansas student, please try to follow along: She punched up and the government tried to punish her for it. Jason Rose punched down and is getting his ass handed to him publicly, and deservedly, by a paying client. See the difference? Okay, good.

Before I finish I’d like to say something about Governor Brewer, whom I consider to be an awful person, based on things she’s done in office. Yes, Jan Brewer is in a powerful position so based on that she is fair game for mockery and derision by us peons. But punch up, people. I’m seeing way too many cracks about her appearance and age and gender slurs. When you go for the cheap shots, not only are you giving Brewer and her handlers yet another reason to portray her as a martyr and a delicate flower (while also the toughest governor in America who eats scorpions, don’t ask me how that works) but it’s neither funny nor imaginative. C’mon Arizona liberals, we’re better than that.


  1. Comment by JJ on November 29, 2011 2:54 pm

    “Pearl clutchy” will be added to my arsenal.

    With regard to Emma Sullivan, your detractors miss the point, perhaps willfully. Governor Brownback does indeed suck, and the young lady, who is of voting age, has every right to say so. In fact, Brownback has now released a statement saying exactly that. All this time I thought he was only interested in abortion, immigration, and guns.

    Oh, and is it still cricket to criticize Brewer for failing to graduate from high school, weaseling out of a DUI, and being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corrections Corporation of America?

  2. Comment by Neil on November 30, 2011 8:23 am

    Good post. Though I’m curious why liberals didn’t condemn Attack Watch the same way they are condemning Brownback. Both are wrongheaded.

  3. Comment by Donna on November 30, 2011 6:58 pm

    JJ, Brewer is fair game for all those things, though I’m not that concerned about the GED since lots of smart people have them, including yours truly!

  4. Comment by Donna on November 30, 2011 10:41 pm

    Attack Watch isn’t the government collecting information to punish critics of President Obama. It’s a clearinghouse where people can submit attacks on him for debunking. It’s not stifling speech, it’s increasing it.

  5. Comment by John on December 17, 2011 10:00 am

    Hi friend,

    Really nice blog. your post Democratic Diva » Jason Rose twitter fiasco illustrates … is very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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