Hoffman's Houston
don't hit tweet

Ken Hoffman weighs in on what could've stopped Roseanne Barr's Twitter catastrophe

Ken Hoffman on what could've stopped Roseanne's Twitter catastrophe

Roseanne Barr
Our intrepid columnist says there's a simple solution to stop the Roseanne-ing on Twitter.  Courtesy photo

Roseanne Barr lost her mega-hit ABC sitcom as punishment for tweeting a racist comment about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. Yes, we have free speech in America, but the First Amendment doesn’t protect your right to prime-time TV.

Barr blamed the incident on Ambien sleep aid, which infuriated the drug maker. The company snarked back that racism is not a side effect of Ambien

Barr will come out of this just fine. Another network, cable station or online programmer will pick up her show — in one form or another. There’s always a place on TV for villains, the controversial, and infamous. Might be time for a Celebrity Boxing reboot.

The Roseanne cast and crew may be out of work for a while, though. Further down the line, ABC13’s advertising salespeople are paying the price for Barr’s ugly comment. 

In the span of two days, ABC13’s sales staff  lost the opportunity to sell time on Roseanne, the network’s most profitable show for ad salespeople. Twenty-four hours earlier, the Houston Rockets were knocked out of the NBA playoffs airing on ABC. If the Rockets had made the NBA Finals, Channel 13’s salespeople would have had local advertisers waiting outside their door to pay top dollar.

I’ve always thought there should be a two-minute delay built into Twitter, so people can briefly reconsider their comments before unleashing disaster. 

Ken tweets; other guy loses
Back in February, I was involved in a Twitter skirmish with a local school board trustee, but I don’t regret a single word. I was stunned and angry at this person’s boundless insensitivity and cavalier attitude after the Parkland High School shooting that took the lives of 14 students and three staff members.

I let him have it good. I’m sure he has his side to the story, but we don’t know. A couple of days after our exchange, he deleted his tweets. A couple of days after that, he deleted his Twitter account.

Here’s his tweet, about one of the student survivors, that started it:

Freakin’ ridiculous. Punk can’t even wipe his own butt yet getting all this play. #Shameful.

Followed by:

Why is anyone taking this little fart so seriously? After all, he’s just a high school student, right? CNN puppet.

I erupted on this person, mind you, a school board trustee.

Can’t believe an educator would criticize a student for speaking out on a national issue, and mock a young person who survived a shooting that took the lives of 14 classmates.

You need to apologize.

Instead, this school board trustee went after me, asking what have I done to mentor a young person like he does?

It was on. I said, buddy, the last thing you should be doing is mentoring a young person. You shouldn’t be allowed around young people. You need to shut it down. 

He came in for a merciless round of responses on Twitter before deleting himself. Comments like:

This is despicable. You need to resign, and get as far away from education as you can. Bullying students who have been through a school shooting is beyond words.

I know someone on Twitter reported him to his school district. I’m guessing he was instructed to delete his Twitter account. He’s held on to his position as trustee, however.


Have a Twitter or e-mail fail moment? Let Ken know in the comments or on Twitter

Learn More