The 6-year-old and the cricket

A funny Facebook post from a friend of mine shows the similarities between what a 6-year-old does with crickets and what our government does.

A college student looking for beer money comes into a windfall and does the right thing with it. One reporter decides to smear him. The results say more about the reporter and today’s Cancel Culture(tm) than it does about the college student.

Mentioned links:

Today, Explained [Winner of the 2019 Podcast Awards in the Politics & News category]

WALSH: A Man Raised Money For Sick Kids, So Journalists Went Through His Old Tweets To Humiliate Him. This Is Psychotic.

Viral beer money guy Carson King raises nearly $3 million

Reporter who exposed good Samaritan’s old, offensive tweets loses job over his own old, offensive tweets

Reporter who exposed racist tweets no longer at the paper after readers revealed his offensive tweets

Iowa reporter who found a viral star’s racist tweets slammed when critics find his own offensive posts

Fired Des Moines Register reporter blames “right-wing ideologues,” likens backlash to oppression faced by women, minorities

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Show transcript

I just have to relate a funny post I saw from one of my Facebook friends, and it takes a turn into current events. She posted this, “I found a small cricket in my sewing room today. When I asked my 6-year-old about the origins of this critter inside my house during bedtime, I got this answer. ‘Oh, it’s OK, the cricket is part of my catch and release plan. First I catch them and then I release them inside the house.’ #WhatDoYouMeanByThemIOnlyFoundOne #JesusTakeTheWheelAndDriveTheExterminatorOverHere”

Well, as funny as that was by itself, I, of course, found a political angle. I replied, “Hey, that’s our immigration policy! The cricket should now get free healthcare from you”, with the obligatory smilie. Her response, while humorous again, also highlighted what I believe is a wider opinion held by many like her. She said, “As a legal immigrant that doesn’t believe in collecting welfare unless you’re in dire temporary circumstances, I evicted the sucker and sent it back to his homeland.” And yes, another smilie.

Funny but makes a salient point. And I would really like to have a poll that asks legal immigrants about this. I couldn’t find one, but if you can, post it in the Facebook group or in the comments for the show notes. Thanks.

This is the story of guy who just wanted more beer money, and how he was targeted by the media for what’s being referred to these days as “cancelling”.

Carson King thought he would try to take advantage of social media and held up a sign at a college football game that read, “Busch Light supply need replenished. Venmo Carson-King-25.” (Venmo is a payment system that’s owned by PayPal, FYI.) Funny little stunt, and somebody videoed it. Heh, just remember, everything seems to be videoed these days. If you don’t believe in an omnipresent God, at least realize that phones are everywhere.

Anyway, the video went viral. Who knows why some do and some don’t, but this certainly did, and in response to that, people from across the country tossed him some beer money. After about $1,600 poured in, he was shocked. At that point he announced that any donations would go to a local children’s hospital. Not what you’d expect a thirsty college kid to do. When the dust settled, Carson King, beer enthusiast, had nearly $3 million in his account! (Minus, I imagine, the price of a case or two of Busch Light.)

His philanthropy did not go unnoticed. He was honored with an official “Carson King Day” in his home state of Iows, and an “Iowa Legend” beer was produced in his honor. Both Anheuser-Busch and Venmo said they would match the donations.

He thought then that he would make fundraising a career. He said, “I found a passion here.” I hope he hasn’t lost that passion, in spite of what happened next.

Reporter Aaron Calvin at the Des Moines Register performed what he called a “routine background check” of King’s social media history. Is that what the media does now; perform a “routine background check” of every accidental hero? Because there’s nothing worse than a guy who give $3 million to charity but doesn’t have a spotless past. Because almost all of us have a spotless past, right?

Well this eagle-eyed reporter scrounged up two tweets from 7 years ago, when he was in high school, that quoted an obscure comedy TV show that were racist. Because almost all of us never said stupid things in high school, right? And this was considered “news” and, as the Register’s editor wrote, in the “public good”. And the media wonder why people’s trust in them is waning.

Matt Walsh, opining at the Daily Wire (linked to in the show notes), disagrees strongly that this is in any way the “public good”. Giving $3 to a children’s hospital; that’s the public good. Having to go back to 2012 to find 2 bad tweets (back when they were only a max of 140 characters) is not helpful at all.

How unhelpful is it? Let’s start with the cowardice of Anheuser-Busch, who backed out of any further connection with Carson, citing that their “values” did not align with the tweets.

And then there’s this. Let me start with the old saying that really goes, “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”, and so some people demonstrated how unhelpful this was by really saucing this gander. They poked back into the social media history of Aaron Calvin, and found some inappropriate tweets that “included derogatory language against black people, gay people, same-sex marriage, and women.” The paper that had, at first, defended his actions, then announced he was no longer employed at the Register. That’s the least they could do if they wanted to be consistent.

At first the reporter apologized for his tweets, but has since taken to blaming other for his plight. “I recognize that I’m not the first person to be doxxed like this — this whole campaign was taken up by right-wing ideologues and largely driven by that force.”  Doxxed by right-wing ideologues. He “reported”, they “doxxed”. Right. He continued. “It was just a taste of what I assume that women and journalists of color suffer all the time, but the kind of locality and regional virality of the story made it so intense.” He “reported”, they oppressed.

He’s the victim, dontcha’ see? No, I don’t see. You give the journalism trade a bad name, but he gives thirsty college students a great name.

Filed under: ImmigrationMedia