Scott Tibbs

Social media "dunking" is needlessly toxic

By Scott Tibbs, January 25, 2023

A woman rushes outside to save her elderly dog from an attack by a wild animal. In the chaos of trying to rescue her pet and deal with the predator, she accidentally shoots herself in the foot. This is a heartwarming story of someone who loves her pet, right? If the person involved is a conservative, she "deserved" it, and her jokes on social media prove it.

The injury of Jessica O'Donnell, and the Fake News Media's dishonest coverage of it, shows how our "dunking" culture has become needlessly toxic. The "dunking" does not have to be based on facts. The only thing that matters is the need to "own the cons" or "own the libs" to get applause from our own side. O'Donnell had "sinned" a few days earlier by making a joke on Twitter telling people to "shoot guns and watch college football," so obviously she was being irresponsible and she got what she deserved. 

What makes it worse is that she told the Fake News Media what happened, and they ignored her and ran with the sensationalistic "redneck girl shoots herself" story anyway and openly lied about her not responding to their inquiry. 

President Donald Trump said years ago that "The Fake News Media is the enemy of the people." Much wailing and pearl-clutching commenced. But Trump was right then, and they have gone out of their way to prove him right as often as possible in the years since. From dancing on the graves of unvaccinated people who have died of COVID-19 to openly trying to blackmail people who post silly memes on Reddit and publishing the home address of people who are annoying them on Twitter, the Fake News Media has done everything they can to make themselves the enemy of the people.  

But this goes far beyond the Fake News media and goes to a deeper and broader rot in our culture. People love to mock and ridicule the suffering of political "enemies," and cannot wait to "prove" how they got what they deserved. Two years after Rush Limbaugh died of cancer, deranged Leftists are still taunting his brother David on Twitter about how Rush is burning in Hell and how they are glad he is dead.  

The problem is that we do not see our political opponents as human beings who disagree with us or even as people who are wrong, but as people who are evil. The depraved perverts who mock Limbaugh and O'Donnell aside, this is by no means exclusive to the Left. Conservatives used to brag that "we see liberals as wrong, but liberals see us as evil." If that was ever true, conservatives have abandoned that view and embraced the "politics is war and enmity" mentality since at least the second half of 2015. Not only are liberals "evil," conservatives who are not sufficiently combative are "traitors" and "cucks." 

All of this is incredibly toxic and destructive. All of us would do well to step back take a deep breath, and we would be wise to actually look at the facts before we whip out our phone or start clicking away on our keyboards with the latest "burn" to "own the libs" or "own the cons." And if we are proven wrong, it is not a sign of "weakness" to admit we are wrong and apologize. In fact, it is a sign of weakness to double down. We all need to do better.

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