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Sexist, vulgar posts on women’s marches rebound on officials

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Protestors march past the Civil Rights Museum during the Triad NC Women’s March in Greensboro, N.C. on Saturday.

INDIANAPOLIS >> A school board member in Hillary Clinton’s hometown resigned after making a derogatory reference on Twitter to the female anatomy in describing women marching against President Donald Trump. An Illinois teacher was pulled from the classroom for tweets deemed sexist. And a freshman Indiana lawmaker was inundated with criticism over a Facebook post mocking “fat women.”

These are a handful of examples from across the U.S. of mostly male public officials who have been reprimanded, called out or disciplined over social media postings about the women’s marches around the globe last weekend.

The rash of incidents, which range from boorish to downright vulgar, highlight how nasty political discourse has become since the divisive presidential election. But in an era when Trump made lashing out against “political correctness” central to his appeal, the consequences these officials face for unfiltered use of social media once again demonstrates that what you say on the internet still can hurt you.

“Very few people in public life, even today, get away with what Trump was able to get away with,” said Michael Cornfield, a George Washington University professor who studies politics in the internet age. “I wonder what these gentlemen were thinking.”

It’s not the first time rantings on social media have sparked backlash. Public officials for years have found themselves in trouble, and even resigned from office, over comments that were impolitic, distasteful and sometimes even racist. It’s also not strictly a partisan issue. A writer for Saturday Night Live was suspended this week after writing an offensive tweet about Trump’s 10-year-old son Barron. The writer, Katie Rich, deleted the tweet, briefly deactivated her account and then apologized after a social media outcry led to calls for a boycott of the show.

Still, the number of incidents following the women’s marches, which packed public squares in blue states and some red as well, has put a few elected officials and supervisors in an awkward spot. And it’s not clear where to draw the line.

In Indiana, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma says he’s conducting social media tutorials after posts from at least two state lawmakers.

A weekend Facebook post by Indiana state Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican, showed a photo of a woman sprayed in the face with pepper spray with a caption that read: “PARTICIPATION TROPHIES. NOW IN LIQUID FORM.”

Another post by newly elected Indiana state Sen. Jack Sandlin, also a Republican, credited Donald Trump with getting “more fat women out walking than (former First Lady) Michelle Obama did in 8 years.”

Sandlin, who says he didn’t knowingly make the since-deleted post, was inundated with criticism on his Facebook page and has apologized. He says the incident was a powerful lesson on the “unintended consequences” of opening up “your social media to try to get it out as broadly as you can.”

Bosma partially blamed “the Twitter storm created by our president” which he said “makes people feel this is an appropriate vehicle to communicate.” He added: “We’re elected officials, we’re held to a higher standard.”

On Monday, Dathan Paterno, a school board member in Park Ridge, Illinois, where Hillary Clinton grew up, abruptly resigned after he called the protests a “farce” by “vagina screechers” on Twitter.

Paterno, who did not respond to a request for comment, later deleted his social media accounts, said district Superintendent Laurie Heinz. He wrote in his letter of resignation that the tweets were “understandably misinterpreted.”

In the Quad Cities, along Illinois’ western border, a teacher was “removed from the classroom” for posting a view of women that “does not reflect the values” of the school, district officials said in a statement.

The teacher, Mark Kaczmarek, tweeted a photo of a 1950s housewife, and commented that the protesters “all went home to make dinner.”

One online petition called his tweet “unacceptable” while a rival petition said there is “no proof” that he “ever engaged in any kind of sexist, racist or even homophobic hate speeches in his classroom.”

A person who answered the phone at a number listed to Kaczmarek declined to comment.

In Nebraska, a retweet of an offensive joke may be the final straw for State Sen. Bill Kintner, who admitted last year to having cybersex on a state computer with a woman who later tried to blackmail him. The Republican’s colleagues on Wednesday will debate whether to expel him after he retweeted a joke implying that three women’s march demonstrators were too unattractive to sexually assault.

Other incidents were reported in Mississippi, Rhode Island and New Mexico.

Cornfield, the political science professor, said that he thought most people learned the lesson about crossing the line in social media posts years ago during the early days of email.

“I guess now that we’ve elected the real Donald Trump some people need reminders,” he said.

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  • “A school board member in Hillary Clinton’s hometown resigned after making a derogatory reference on Twitter to the female anatomy in describing women marching against President Donald Trump.” So … what is the relevance of noting that the school board member happened to live in Clinton’s hometown?

    • It’s not the most essential bit of information for this article. But many, if not most, readers would find it an interesting fact. As you may or may not know, Hillary Clinton was Trump’s main opponent in the race. Women’s rights, misogyny, and alleged sexual assault were hot topics during the campaign. There is a possible irony in that someone from Hillary’s hometown made a “Trump-esque” tweet.

      Again, many readers find that a point of interest. That is the relevance of noting where that guy lives.

  • There is no way writer Katie Rich of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) to be so asinine to Tweet out a mocking remark on Barron Trump, “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter.” just because. First of all, the press has extensively covered FLOTUS Melania Trump will not be moving to The White House until after son Barron is finished with school, he is not homeschooled. I suspect “SNL” Rich got something in return to tweet out that ridiculous remark, e.g., an extended contract, increased salary, extorted, some sort of quid pro quo going on. For God’s sake she is a writer, she is no dummy, maybe a harlot, but certainly not a dumbbell. The tweet is illogical and so out of place. There is a hidden agenda here.

    So the question is why? Here comes Chelsea Clinton in support and in defense by tweeting out, “Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does – to be a kid. Standing up for every kid also means opposing @ POTUS policies that hurt kids.” Chelsea’s tweet is conveniently woven into the fabric of this narrative making its way into the storyline.

    POTUS Trump’s longtime friend and confidant Roger Stone divulged live on the Alex Jones program after Trump won the election Chelsea Clinton called on one of PE Trump’s children. (I assumed it was DJT daughter Ivanka b/c she and Chelsea was friends prior to their parent’s presidential candidacy.) Stone said Chelsea’s call was along the lines of why can’t we all be friends. The Clinton’s are troubled.

    Let us not forget the recovery of the 500,000 plus emails by NYPD of Hillary’s that were on her aide of 20 years (rumored to be Hillary’s lesbian lover) Huma Abedin’s husband Anthony Weiner seized laptop computer. Weiner was under investigation by NYPD for a sex crime involving a minor.

    It is not uncommon to uncover crime(s) of others during the course of investigating a specific person(s) or group. It can branch out and lead to other investigations that are unrelated to the initial crime that was being investigated.

    NYPD turned over Weiner’s laptop computer to the FBI when they discovered 500,000 plus emails of Hillary’s as new evidence to her recently email case by the FBI. The NYPD made a copy of everything from Weiner’s laptop for their on-going investigation of him.

    There was a coup within the FBI at varies levels of their rank and file turning in letters of resignations to Director James Comey over the non-prosecution of Hillary’s treasonist act of her homebrew email server.
    NYPD pressured the FBI to re-open Hillary’s email case or they would go public with it.

    The emails contained a treasure trove of evidence linking Hillary and associates to:

    Money laundering – Racketeering
    Child exploitation
    Sex crimes with minors
    Perjury
    Pay to play through Clinton Foundation
    Obstruction of justice
    Other felony crimes

    Clinton Foundation accepted a $1 million check from the sovereign country of Qatar as a 65th birthday gift to Bill Clinton. Qatar’s government has directly given between $1 million and $5 million over the years. Hillary was US secretary of state without informing the State Dept. as she promised. This has been confirmed and some of the reason the Obama’s have disdain for the Clinton’s among many other non-ethical actions.

    Hillary has sold 20% of US precious uranium supply to Russia in return of payoffs and related interests. Money also went to the Clinton Foundation that the Clintons steal money through. Uranium is a natural mineral used for generating heat in power reactors, and produces material for nuclear weapons.

    Hillary’s ex-campaign manager John Podesta had ties to Russia and Saudi government receiving $140,000 a month from them. His brother Tony managed the accounts for their Podesta Group firm.

    Chelsea is a Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, has breached the federal rules for tax exemptions on charity foundations. She used Clinton Foundation funds for her estimated $3 million wedding and for 10 years used these funds to live on.

    I believe this scenario is staged, too staged giving Chelsea a public platform for the world to witness of her kind and caring concern. POTUS Trump’s son Barron is being exploited as a sacrificial lamb for her self-preservation, family, and parent’s involved associates. Why so public? She had called upon a member of the Trump family before or she could have written a letter to share her empathy. This story is too staged and just so happened along the way the tweet of Chelsea to the rescue in support and defending Barron appears scripted like a broadway play.

    Prior to Hillary entering the political arena, she was a criminal defense attorney and husband Bill both graduated from Yale Law School. They know a person who is facing criminal charges with co-defendants are either all or none of them will be prosecuted. There is no selection of “cherry picking” of who gets prosecuted if they all share culpability in collusion to accomplish the criminal activity.

    I foresee indictments being served if they have not already on the Clinton’s, democrats, republicans, and non-government persons convicted of their participation in criminal activities.

    POTUS Trump had prior knowledge of the Clinton’s corruption during the presidential candidacy debates. The only person on this planet who possess the power to protect the Clinton’s is POTUS Trump.

    In desperate times, one will do almost anything for self-preservation. This scenario of the SNL writer’s tweet of POTUS Trump’s son Barron serves only a purpose for Chelsea Clinton to appear as a heroine thus opening a line of communication with a Trump or viewed favorably.

    • Suggest switching from tinfoil to plastic with regard to your head wear. It might do a better job of keeping what you still have under it a bit fresher.

    • Thank you, udonnome, for your thorough research and more importantly, your insightful revelations at the end. Not only are you an admirable student of facts, you have a gift for deciphering the psychological motives of those political figures. We all know politicians (and their families) are often “up to something,” so it’s good to keep an eye and ear on them. It’s important to figure out what’s really going on inside their heads….good call there!

      With your talent, I might recommend sharing your insights with a good psychologist. Not any psychologist, but a smart one who can appreciate your ability to see things the news people are letting slip by.

      Meanwhile, I’ll keep a close look at both the Trumps and Clintons, try to read between the lines. This is exciting new territory we’re getting into. Thank you for the enlightenment.

      • Sorry, no can do. You’ve been (I’d say “briefed” but there’s only so much irony you can stuffed into a word, so…) warned about both their motivations and their capabilities. Resistance is futile and the end is nigh.

    • Chelsea is a very decent person. Barron is not in any way a public or political figure and should not be mentioned by commentators trying to make a joke or get attention.

    • Problem is, Trump’s win is just seen as license for people to reveal the ugly, bigoted, and oftentimes racist people they really are. “Hey, it’s okay now! Deal with it, losers!”

  • “Another post by newly elected Indiana state Sen. Jack Sandlin, also a Republican, credited Donald Trump with getting “more fat women out walking than (former First Lady) Michelle Obama did in 8 years.”

    SHOOTS I THINK THIS IS REALLY FUNNY. Come on you liberals can’t you laugh at a good joke?

    • The answer to that question is NO, they are incapable of laughing at a joke or for that matter any manifestation of humor.

      The so called ‘progressives’ are a cheerless, stodgy lot much given to feeling sorry for themselves, sticking out their lower lip, pouting and whining about how “offended” they are by this, that and the other. If tantrum throwing were an Olympic event, these pitiful snow flakes would all be gold medal contenders.

      While they themselves have no genuine laughter in them does not render them useless. Far from it. They are, with their pretentious and oh so solemn grandstanding a source of reliable amusement for NORMAL people.

    • There were more beautiful, nonfat, young and old women in the March than fat women. Some had babies in strollers with little signs. And there were nearly as many men, teens, and boys in the March. Many seniors in the march as well. If you had been there, you would realize this was a demonstration of Democracy and true patriotism.

  • there were many sexist vulgar signs carried by marchers and many sexist vulgar slogans being chanted by marchers.

    comical that they feign disgust and take offense when their sexist vulgar comments rebound on marchers.

  • Reference: Michael Cornfield, a George Washington University professor who studies politics in the internet age. “I wonder what these gentlemen were thinking.”

    Professor Cornfield, they are not gentlemen!

    • As long as you’d have no argument with the equally relevant observation that quite a few of the women marching recently, by virtue of their actions and words, certainly don’t qualify as “ladies”, then we are in complete agreement.

      • Actions and words notwithstanding, I would say that “ladies” for women compares more favorably with “boys” for men in – terms of the level of respect the word conveys.

        • Despite the obvious correlations between girls and ladies vs, boys and men? Interesting, made more so by your exempting actions and words as a qualifier.

  • “Another post by newly elected Indiana state Sen. Jack Sandlin, also a Republican, credited Donald Trump with getting “more fat women out walking than (former First Lady) Michelle Obama did in 8 years.”

    “Sandlin, who says he didn’t knowingly make the since-deleted post, was inundated with criticism on his Facebook page and has apologized.”

    The man didn’t knowingly make the post…I thought you had to type in things the push the post button to get anything posted…I don’t tweet or facebook so I don’t know. He must have been daydreaming or had too much to drink or is this a “alternative facts” example…

  • More fake news. None of these comments were as vile and obscene as countless marchers carried in the DC march and even some here that if correctly quoted here, would not be allowed to be posted in this forum. Hypocrites!

  • Lyrics to “rap” songs contain violence, misogyny, etc. are okay? Vulgar words on signs carried during the March by women. And that’s okay? Oh,I forgot, Trump supporters are the racist, misogynist, haters and uneducated. Wake up America!

  • Free speech works both ways. Unless negativity is directed towards the libs. Concerned patriots are getting tired of it but…Karma will prevail. Togetherness would be nice. Hope that it happens. Eventual peace? Maybe.

  • Ashley Judd. While visiting her sister, country singer Wynonna Judd, at a treatment center in 2006, counselors suggested that the actress and political activist check herself in, too. So Ashley Judd did just that and spent 47 days in a Texas treatment facility for depression and emotional problems.

  • Funny how freedom of speech goes only one way. This is a prime example of how women have MORE rights than men! If a woman makes a derogatory comment about men or male causes, men are expected to put up with it. But when men make derogatory comments about women or their causes, reprimand is sure to follow. Philosopher Susan Bordo calls it the “double bind of masculinity.”

  • Never tweeted and probably will not in my short life-time ahead. Made too many mistakes and do not want to add to it. Unkind words best left not tweeted!

    • I also have never tweeted or twatted. Not even sure I know how.
      Not sure if I want to know.
      I prefer “talking” to people. Less chance of miscommunication.

  • “Very few people in public life, even today, get away with what Trump was able to get away with,” said Michael Cornfield, a George Washington University professor who studies politics in the internet age.

    Ah yes, and now from the specialists in the obvious.

  • What did they expect? The speeches givenby Judd and Madonna werevulgar and disgusting. You talk like that, then you have to take it the same way. This women’s march was a horrible example of the female gender in this country.

    • If you spoke to the vast majority of those who participated in the march, you would have found they welcomed anyone, regardless of their beliefs.

      Aren’t most people reasonable and open hearted?

  • Freedom of speech gives one the inalienable right to be rude, crude and lewd.

    It also has consequences, as these empty-sacked twerps have discovered to their chagrin.

  • Would you, as a responsible employer, hire any individual with the background issues Trump has?

    How many representatives in Congress would have given serious consideration to any ordinary citizen who came into their office to complain about widespread voter fraud?

    How many representatives in Congress would have given serious consideration to anyone drunk, stoned who came into their office to vent the very same issues Trump did during his campaign?

    And if Trump’s assertion about voter fraud were correct, think about how many down ballot races would be affected.

    And ask yourself, why are countries like China and Russia now asserting that Democracy does work?

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