Erin Gloria Ryan Is Mean

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why couldn’t it be scott walker. 🙁 #wisconsintweets

Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria) December 01, 2013

The editor of Jezebel, a repulsive outpost of extreme feminism under the Gawker Media umbrella, got herself in trouble on Saturday for — in jest! — joking about the death of Scott Walker, just as news of actor Paul Walker was being confirmed around the Web.

Plenty of people were outraged, as her Tweet bounced around right-wing news aggregators. The professional pants-wetters also took her to task, with the blanket admonishment that it’s never okay to wish death upon someone.

After immediate uproar, she backpedaled: the tweet was deleted, she apologized for making a dumb joke, and interacted via @mention with some of the remaining haters. Good on her.

More pressure ensued. Tweeters remained outraged. Mr. Walker is an upstanding gentleman, a husband and father, no less, and he deserves a direct apology, the chorus insisted.

Ms. Ryan did.

(Note: She even wished him a happy Christmas!)

Given that this small fiasco happened over a holiday, it’s not likely to have legs into this week. Already Ms. Ryan’s tweets have returned to inane inside-joke banter. It’s a case study in how to move on from a small, manufactured crisis: screw up, apologize directly, move on.

It also won’t go anywhere because she’s a liberal prodding at a conservative. The double-standard is manifest.

On a much larger, much more public scale, Paula Deen was thrown to the dogs for racial remarks she made decades ago, for which she had to jump through hoops in order to apologize, and for which she lost lucrative jobs with Food Network and other endorsements. Does racist language trump jokes about death? Do the target’s politics determine the extent to which observers should be offended? These are honest questions, not rhetorical. In The Land of the Affronted and Perpetually Disgruntled, whose inhabitants inhabit superior moral authority than those around them, the metric for actually being offensive is constantly in flux. Ms. Deen isn’t a political figure, but she is a public one, who said regrettable things. To that extent, so is Ms. Ryan.

At some point, it’ll probably come to Mr. Walker’s attention that a New York blogger who probably doesn’t wear a bra to work made a nasty joke about him over the weekend. It’s likely he’ll brush it off, especially because the joke wasn’t directly aimed at his family. Certainly he has dealt with these kinds of comments before.

Most conservative politicians have. An entire movie was made in 2006 fictionalizing the assassination of George W. Bush. It was the far-left’s wet dream. Rightful outrage ensued. In the despots Mr. Bush was lambasted for liberating, the makers of such a film would be dragged to a public square and murdered by the state. Imagine the cries of hatred, racism and bigotry if the same story were dramatized depicting President Obama’s untimely end. It would be a tragedy.

Ms. Ryan’s statements were not offensive. They were stupid and tasteless, and she owned up to them. The intellectual level of discourse in politics would improve if the Offended Elite spent more time marking their targets for meaningful discussion, not crying every time someone says something nasty.

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“Shaken, not stirred, will get you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth. The reason you stir it with a special spoon is so not to chip the ice. James is ordering a weak martini and being snooty about it.”

-Jed Bartlet

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About the writer: Nik Nelson is publisher of MorningMartini.com and Founder/CEO of OpenBox Strategies, where he connects political candidates and small businesses with excellent digital marketing tools and strategies.