Vice publishes Emerson student’s open (and clever) letter to radio host who named him bombing suspect
Holy internet kerfuffle, Radioman. Emerson senior and Berkeley Beacon editor Eric Twardzik found himself in a steaming pile of false – and really, really messed up – accusations when Sirius radio talk show host Jay Thomas cited him as a suspect in the Boston Marathon attack on Monday.
Which is pretty much the worst thing anyone could have found themselves publicly – and completely erroneously – accused of on the afternoon of April 15. Where did Thomas get his crackerjack intel, you ask? From this tweet (since gone viral) featuring a photo of a man in a hoodie and a white baseball cap (not a turban people, I feel that it is important to reiterate, as often as possible, that racial profiling is a seriously dangerous game) being detained on the Boston Common. (Since determined to be for a totally unrelated offense.) Apparently Thomas believes that criminals are in the habit of tweeting out photos (‘hey man, here’s my Droid, snap this pic, yo! And call my mom, tell her I won’t be home for dinner!”) of themselves getting arrested. Nothing like social media self-promotion, am I right? Also, it’s possible Thomas can’t read.
Like the reasonable, non-terrorist he is, Twardzik reached out, via twitter and email, to Thomas’ people, explaining that Thomas had made a mistake that anyone could have made (that no one could have made) asking him to please issue a vocal retraction. These reasonable, non-terrorist requests went unanswered. Meanwhile, Twardzik’s name went viral. The “story,” as these “stories” are wont to do, was internet-vomited all over the world wide web. Twardzik gained hundreds of Twitter followers and a whole lot of unwanted- and totally unsolicited – attention.
So Twardzik did what any well-spoken, media savvy, aspiring young journalist would do. He wrote a (damn eloquent) open letter to Thomas that Vice magazine was more than happy to publish for him. The hope was that Thomas would read the letter (he maybe can’t; see above) and give Twardzik the apology he deserves. And, you know, admit to the world at large that he’s a first class idiot while chasing down that hard-to-chew hat with the leftover egg from his face.
As of yet, it seems that he has not. Read Twardzik’s open letter, via Vice, here. It’s well-written, and really funny. (See: “The clip ends as you wonder about my name: “Twardzik sounds more Polish or something than it does Arabic.” Honestly, I’m impressed that you pronounced it correctly. It’s been choking substitute teachers and Starbucks baristas for years.”) And in times like this, we have to laugh, right?