A lesson in social media for the communicator

Social media is like alcohol, in some respects.

When not “consumed” responsibly, it can loosen inhibitions and affect judgment adversely.

But also like alcohol, social media need not be harmful if used intelligently and in moderation.

Ask Roseanne Barr about that.

The entertainer’s renewed show ended this past week because of social media post she released this past week. She made a racist reference to Valerie Jarrett, who was an adviser to former President Barack Obama.

Within hours of Barr’s tweet, ABC canceled her hit television show, “Roseanne.”

Some syndication services pulled reruns of her old shows. Even her agent dumped her.

What a shame. The show was a good one.

Minced with good, down-home humor, the show reflected the hardships of working and splintered families … families living paycheck to paycheck. It also certainly pushed stereotypes, as virtually all TV shows do.

Barr initially blamed an insomnia drug she had taken before making the offensive tweet. She pulled back after the manufacturer released a statement that “racism is not a known side effect” of the drug, Ambien.

Then Barr switched to pointing out that those with liberal political views who make similar mistakes are treated less harshly than conservatives like her. There is some truth to that. Yet, on a regular (and seemingly increasing basis) both liberals and conservatives are facing extreme, unbalanced criticism by the national broadcast media for their views … especially if those views do not align with that particular media company.

Barr admits to making a serious mistake. She apologized and called herself an “idiot,” not a racist. The terms she used to describe Jarrett were over the top. Bigotry by a public figure should not be allowed to pass without consequence, whether coming from the left, right or middle.

We’re sure we’ll receive extreme criticism for this “Our View” as being “biased.” In fact, we already have been accused of that just because we ran the initial story on Roseanne on our cover page. We thought it was an important story considering the show’s immense popularity. Heck, even the President weighed in on it.

Oh well, that’s our world today. Even calls for decency are seen as extremely political. Indeed, everything and everyone are seen as being slanted one way or another.

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