While ABC was careless in throwing out speculation, the folks at Breitbart were quite, quite sure that ABC was doing so in order to smear conservatives. Breitbart would show them, however. They’d link to a James Holmes who was registered as a Democrat! Okay, he was a different age than the James Holmes who attacked people in Aurora. Sure, he was registered to vote in La Plata County, which is six hours away from Aurora. Still, he was a Democrat! Take that, liberals!
Needless to say, Breitbart was no closer to the truth than ABC was; both picked a James Holmes at random, both reported a political affiliation for him, and both were completely wrong. But Breitbart’s breathless bombshell was spurred out of pure tribal animus. It would be far more embarrassing to the Breitbartkateers, but Breitbart is already known for having minimal journalistic ethics, so it won’t affect them in the long run.
Of all the responses, though, far and away the worst response of the day came from Celeb Boutique, which posted perhaps the most callous tweet since the Kenneth Cole debacle:
Yes, they did use the tragic murder of 12 people to sell Kim Kardashian’s new dress!
After about an hour and a trillion angry retweets, Celeb Boutique threw together a highly dubious apology. In a series of tweets, they said:
We didn’t check what the trend was about hence the confusion, again we do apologise[.] We are incredibly sorry for our tweet about Aurora – Our PR is NOT US based and had not checked the reason for the trend, at that time our social media was totally UNAWARE of the situation and simply thought it was another trending topic – we have removed the very insensitive tweet and will of course take more care in future to look into what we say in our tweets. Again we do apologise for any offense caused. This was not intentional & will not occur again. Our most sincere apologies for both the tweet and situation.
This explanation might work for people who are totally unfamilliar with Twitter, but people who are know that you can click on a hashtag to see what people are saying about it. Had anyone at Celeb Boutique bothered to check the #Aurora tag, they would have seen thousands of tweets about a shooting in Aurora.
Perhaps they’re telling the truth, and this was careless, not callous. But it bespeaks a certain level of narcissism to post an ad on any trending topic, without even bothering to check what it is. Maybe they didn’t set out to offend the entire internet, but their inability to realize that things trend for bad reasons as well as good shows just how little regard Celeb Boutique has for anyone.
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