July 10, 2017

NPR just suffered a long train of abuses by the Twitter illiterati


When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to identify our most ridiculous citizens, it’ll be easy: just look for the people so hellbent on freedom that they smear as treasonous the founding document of our country.

Yes, ’Murica, the lamestream media is at it again. In a brazen show of partisanship, NPR did the exact same thing they’ve done every year since 1987 and shared the text of the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July. The velvet-toned hosts, reporters, and commentators of the network’s weekday staple “Morning Edition,” as usual, performed a reading of our founding document. But this year, when NPR added a new dimension by simultaneously tweeting the Declaration line by line, all hell broke loose in the conservative Twittersphere.

Propaganda! Spam! And, even worse: a call for flat-out revolution against our sovereign ki… er, we mean president!

Yes, World. Right-wing Twitter read these tweets and not only failed to recognize them as the document that got this whole “’Murica” ball rolling, but actually thought that Cokie Roberts and co were advocating for the violent overthrow of President Trump. One user even called out NPR as “fake news,” which in this context is just such an Idon’tevenhavewords.

OK, so maybe NPR will take a lesson from this and not make live-tweeting a 240-year-old document in full view of the lowest common denominator part of their yearly tradition. But it does raise an interesting question: was right-wing Twitter so up in arms (Get it?! Revolution pun!) because liberal anger has reached the point where its vitriol mimics the Declaration of Independence? Or does right-wing Twitter unconsciously see our president as resembling a ruler “who has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records,” and who “has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices?”


Susan Rella is the Director of Production at Melville House, and a former bookseller.