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Ebert Reaps the Twitter Whirlwind

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 21, 2011 4:00PM


Roger Ebert is getting it from all comers for this Tweet he sent out regarding the death of Jackass star Ryan Dunn. Dunn and a friend were killed early yesterday when the Porsche he was driving jumped a guardrail in West Goshen, PA, slammed into a tree and exploded. Prior to the Crash, Dunn tweeted a picture of him drinking in a bar, leading to the tweet in question.

Since Ebert's fateful tweet, he's been reaping the whirlwind from other Twitter users who must have put at least as much thought into their replies to him as Ebert did in his tweet about Dunn. Facebook administrators even briefly took down his page (which Ebert also questioned). For what it's worth, Ebert's owning the tweets and not backing down from them.

I meant exactly what I wrote. I wasn't calling Ryan Dunn a jackass. In Twitter shorthand, I was referring to his association with "Jackass." I thought that was clear. I note that Bam Margera uses the word "jackass" in the same way in his tweet.

And this.

I don't know what happened in this case, and I was probably too quick to tweet. That was unseemly. I do know that nobody has any business driving on a public highway at 110 mph, as some estimated -- or fast enough, anyway, to leave a highway and fly through 40 yards of trees before crashing. That is true in any event. It is especially true if the driver has had three shots and three beers. Two people were killed. What if the car had crashed into another car?

Celebutard gossipmonger Perez Hilton then piled on, writing that Ebert was insensitive to Dunn's death. Which is a rich notion: when a man who's best-known for using MS Paint to draw spooge stains on the photos of celebrities is calling you insensitive, you've probably won the news cycle.

If you've used twitter for any extended amount of time, then you've probably had a tweet misconstrued. Roger Ebert is known for measuring his words carefully. With social media, especially Twitter, serving as a surrogate for his voice, it's easy to see that he is catching flak for his tweets about Dunn, even after explaining himself.

Lost in all this hullabaloo is the irrefutable fact that Ryan Dunn is dead, at the very least, from driving too fast. Had he survived the crash, Dunn would likely be facing a serious jail term for vehicular manslaughter, whether or not he was drunk.