What do you call a twenty-something journalist with a degree? Artificial intelligence.
Just as the furor over the tweet sent out by Justine Sacco is dying down, another twenty-something comes along and tweets something as moronic as Sacco. Sacco, whose tweet got her immediately canned, is laying low these days. Having swung for the fence and missed, she is taking time off in the dugout to watch the game.
Up to bat now is the equally brain dead Zlati Meyer of The Detroit Free Press. Her tweet, following the toxic chemical spill in West Virginia last week was about as lame and humorless as Sacco’s was.
The response was — underwhelming. Other than a few dozen tweets, there’s been no broad public backlash against Meyer as there was against Sacco. Apparently it’s seen by society as anathema to make jokes about AIDS victims in South Africa, but it’s perfectly OK to do the same about individuals and families in West Virginia.
Can someone say double standard?
Meyer, who calls herself a humorist and nonconformist failed at both after the tweet. Twitter wasn’t having any of her sense of humor either. As a water crisis that left as many as 300,000 people unable to drink or cook, Meyer posted her joke about West Virginia.
@RicCavender retweeted the comment and added, “Fellow WVians…this @freep reporter needs to be properly reprimanded. Use #HasZlatiLandedYet to share/discuss.”
Ry Rivard @ryrivard @Zlatimeyer wrote, “My family is from Detroit and moved to WV. I don’t really think that counts as a “joke.” Just pure disgraceful bigotry.”
Many people called for Meyer to be canned. Dave Mistich was just one of dozens when he tweeted, @Zlatimeyer, “I hope you are fired from your job for that comment. There are NO excuses for what you just said about my people.”
Some, like Jeff Wattrick, took up for Meyer.
Jeff Wattrick (jeff@deadlinedetroit. com) in a piece titled, “Zlati Meyer’s Only Crime Was Apologizing For Her West Virginia Tweet’ said, “A joke, however pedestrian, about incest being a problem in a systemically impoverished and isolated rural area is obviously a comment about the systemic poverty and isolation. Even the most nuance-challenged simpleton can recognize that fact.”
I guess making fun of people from Appalachia is the only socially acceptable form of bigotry. As someone who grew up in Appalachia, it’s disturbing. I love where I came from and for journalists like Meyer to rely on geographical stereotypes is childish.
While there’s still many twenty-somethings that have their head on straight and are on their way to a productive life, there’s still too many that are like Meyer. Filled with knowledge and no wisdom, they prance around thinking they have all the answers when they haven’t even begun to learn.
Meantime, somewhere in the ballpark is another twenty-something ready to step up to bad when Meyer gets struck out.
Let’s hope she’s sent down to the minor leagues soon.