Fans of the lovely and lively Ms. Finney were overjoyed to see her finally have a go at guest-hosting on Thursday and Friday of last week when she filled in for Martin Bashir. We hoped she would make a big splash and capture the attention of execs at MSNBC who might consider giving her a show of her own. I doubt that any of us ever dreamed that we would see her attacked unfairly, misquoted, and abused the way we have for the past few days on Twitter.
Like some warped version of The Telephone Game, Hate-Tweeters have twisted her words and worse claimed she said things that she did not. People whose attention spans do not exceed 140 characters retweet without checking to see what she really said. The videos and transcripts are all available at the Bashir Live homepage, but let us not waste valuable retweeting time looking for the truth!
Ms. Finney organized and presented some compelling programming. Of course she covered the story of the week, the Trayvon Martin case. The language used by the accused perpetrator, George Zimmerman on 911 record, not Ms. Finney, is what brought race into the discussion. She along with her panel presented the facts as they found them. So what did Karen do to precipitate this hailstorm of hate on Twitter?
There is a “B” word that I have yet to hear in connection with the Trayvon Martin case. With all of the attention being paid in this country to bullying, I have not heard the suggestion that as a self-identified authority figure, George Zimmerman may have bullied Trayvon Martin. We do not like thinking about that kind of bullying. We do not want kids bullying other kids, but I notice a resistance to suggestions that authority figures also bully. Some teachers do, coaches do, and yes, security and police personnel also do. Karen did not raise this issue, but if the latest Zimmerman information, that he is injured, is true, it could be consistent with Trayvon fighting back – against a bully.
Having raised that “B” word, I find what is happening to Karen on the Twitter feed also a form of bullying. The attacks are merciless,and the “quotes” have no basis in fact. It is hate talk and very dangerous. I still cannot fathom why it is Karen who receives this treatment. I hope it is not rooted in sexism, racism or both, and I certainly hope it is not because she is beautiful and brilliant. We have seen enough of that! Thanks to Ryan Olsen for the picture.