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Twitter “progressives” bombard Jen Kirkman with death threats after missing the point of a joke

Jen Kirkman on Drunk History
Jen Kirkman on Drunk History

So yesterday comedian Jen Kirkman posted a little joke on Twitter, as comedians are wont to do.

Jen Kirkman ✔ @JenKirkman I LIKE that Hillary has murdered a lot of people.

Before we look at what happened after she posted this Tweet (which has now been deleted), let me just say a couple of things about the Tweet itself.

Jen Kirkman does not actually “LIKE that Hillary has murdered a lot of people,” in part because she (Kirkman) does not LIKE murder and in part because she does not believe that Hillary has, in fact, murdered a lot of people.

The joke is a clear reference to the right-wing Clinton-haters who have been trying their best, for the last quarter century, to convince the world that Bill and Hillary have been secretly knocking off their political enemies, mob style, racking up a CLINTON BODY COUNT that is now said to number 48.

In other words, the joke is not actually a joke about murder. It s a joke about the right-wing idiots who think that Hillary goes around offing people like some pastel-pantsuited Tony Soprano.

[UPDATE 8/5 Kirkman herself made clear that’s what she meant in a Tweet today.]

Unfortunately, many of those who encountered Kirkman’s Tweet on Twitter — a large number of whom seem to be former Bernie Sanders supporters who’ve gone over the Green Party’s Jill Stein — have kind of missed the point just a little, misreading it as some sort of creepy celebration of drones murdering children in Afghanistan, or something.

And instead of stopping for a second to ask themselves, “wait, is this comedian lady who does those hilarious yet disarmingly earnest segments on Drunk History really mocking or even advocating the murder of children, why would she do that, that can’t be right” many of these people decided to advocate the murder of her.

Here are a small fraction of the Tweets sent to her.

Bacchus @thebacch Ain't no one buying your shit -- we're just hoping you meet the same fate as those dead children you're mocking. https://twitter.com/jenkirkman/status/761225738863292417 … 10:45 AM - 4 Aug 2016 Retweets 4 4 likes Follow Nick @jinkiescoob I LIKE that people have threatened to murder Jen Kirkman https://twitter.com/JenKirkman/status/760911124300570624 … 1:03 PM - 4 Aug 2016 Retweets 2 2 likes 3 Aug Jen Kirkman ✔ @JenKirkman I LIKE that Hillary has murdered a lot of people. Follow #ITSINOURHANDS @moonpyramid @JenKirkman Jen Kirkman thinks this is a funny fucking joke. Smug bitch, like most moron HRC elitists & paid trolls. 11:10 PM - 3 Aug 2016 Retweets likes Follow Victoria Chase @Victoriam_chase @PoliticsPeach @JenKirkman who is this ignorant bitch who need his/her ass kicked!! 7:45 PM - 3 Aug 2016 Retweets likes 3 Aug Jen Kirkman ✔ @JenKirkman I LIKE that Hillary has murdered a lot of people. Follow José Sáez-Peñalver @JSaezpenalver @JenKirkman Louis C.K. should have facefucked you that day, you whore. 6:32 AM - 4 Aug 2016 Retweets likes Follow the good posts guy @Lowenaffchen @JenKirkman you don't get to complain about your mentions after tweeting "murder is good". sorry 12:27 PM - 4 Aug 2016 8 8 Retweets 67 67 likes 3 Aug Jen Kirkman ✔ @JenKirkman I LIKE that Hillary has murdered a lot of people. Follow Juan C. Rodriguez @MrRodriguez89 @JenKirkman you're a massive idiot and deserve whatever harassment you get. Fuck you ya piece of shit!

After Kirkman noted that she would be handing the operation of her Twitter account to someone else because she was tired of reading all the death threats, some of her Twitter, er, critics, did little victory dances of sorts.

midnight velvet @JoshJDee ? @JenKirkman pic.twitter.com/KSfId3448D 1:54 PM - 4 Aug 2016 View image on Twitter Retweets likes Follow haram bae @lastlivingrose aw damn, just missed ya! anyway i wholeheartedly agree with everyone who said you deserved to be murdered next https://twitter.com/JenKirkman/status/761261881042481152 … 1:11 PM - 4 Aug 2016 3 3 Retweets 13 13 likes 3h Jen Kirkman ✔ @JenKirkman pic.twitter.com/DRV3PT7Sli Follow Professor Pikachu @crystalproteins @JenKirkman see ya cunt 1:04 PM - 4 Aug 2016 Retweets 10 10 likes 3h Jen Kirkman ✔ @JenKirkman pic.twitter.com/DRV3PT7Sli Follow soft money @LazyVodkaVideo @JenKirkman this is funnier than any joke you've ever written. 1:44 PM - 4 Aug 2016

And yes, that last dude is using a photo of a young Josef Stalin as his avatar. You know, the Russian dictator whose actual non-fictional not-a-joke STALIN BODY COUNT added up to something close to 20 million.

Someone even took the anti-Kirkman struggle to Wikipedia.

https://twitter.com/lastlivingrose/status/761283232260362240

The people bombarding Kirkman with threats and abuse aren’t Trump fans. They aren’t Trump fans pretending to be BernieBros. If you don’t believe me, go look at the accounts of the people whose Tweets I quoted above, or go directly to @JenKirkman’s mentions now, where you can find hundreds if not thousands more Tweets like this.

These are people who, in many instances, consider themselves progressives, radicals, anarchists, “revolutionaries.” These are, in more than a few cases, proud supporters of Jill Stein, a woman whose presence in the race makes it all that much harder to defeat the unhinged Muslim-hating racist Donald Trump. That strikes me as something of an irony.

In Milan Kundera’s The Joke, set in Communist Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, a young Czech intellectual and Communist Party member is tossed from the party and sent to work in the mines after he jokingly writes “long live Trotsky” on a postcard.

These days, we’ve got Twitter for that.

NOTE 8/5: Just a reminder for new commenters: defending or excusing harassment is against the comment policy here. I’ve been lax on bans in this thread so far but that’s over now.

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BVH
BVH
4 years ago

@Viscaria

Orac’s in-depth analysis of Jill Stein’s antivaccine dog whistles is here and it is worth a read.

Thank you for that link.

I don’t know if we have an “official” stance, but I can tell you my personal stance at this point. According to the most recent review of vaccination policies across the globe, mandatory vaccination that doesn’t allow for medical exemptions is practically unheard of. In most countries, people trust their regulatory agencies and have very high rates of vaccination through voluntary programs. In the US, however, regulatory agencies are routinely packed with corporate lobbyists and CEOs. So the foxes are guarding the chicken coop as usual in the US. So who wouldn’t be skeptical? I think dropping vaccinations rates that can and must be fixed in order to get at the vaccination issue: the widespread distrust of the medical-indsutrial complex.

Stein is a delusional crank. The issue has nothing to do with the FDA or ‘Big Pharma’. The issue is the entire antivaxx stance is based on a known medical fraud perpetrated by Andrew Wakefield:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield#Fraud_and_conflict_of_interest_allegations
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMR_vaccine_controversy

If Stein can’t figure that out, she’s too dumb to be in politics.

Kettle
Kettle
4 years ago

Yeah she didn’t say a damn thing about vaccines causing autism. She’s addressing in a ham-handed way the involvement of corporations in the healthcare industry. You know, like JK really meant the Vince Foster thing and not lol dead Afghanis. Or dead Pakistanis cos fuck them for harbouring bin Laden, right Axecalibur? A+ progressiveness everybody.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

PS David gets all the feminism points for implying that a female presidential candidate should drop out because she’s making things difficult. A+ feminism.

Also, a big part of feminism is that women aren’t perfect – they shouldn’t be hated or discriminated against because of their gender, but they shouldn’t be shielded, either. Benevolent sexism is still sexism. So, somebody’s failed Feminism 101 here, but it ain’t David.

Also also, aren’t you anti-Hillary trolls constantly shouting “You’re only defending/voting for Hillary because she’s a woman”? Turning around with “You’re not allowed to criticise Stein because she’s a woman” is beyond hypocritical.

nparker
nparker
4 years ago

PS David gets all the feminism points for implying that a female presidential candidate should drop out because she’s making things difficult. A+ feminism.

If you think that being a feminist means all women should be immune to criticism, then you’re not one. Simple as that.

Where exactly does feminism say women shouldn’t be criticised?

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Kettle

Yeah she didn’t say a damn thing about vaccines causing autism

She’s an antivaxer, who says stupid shit about autism. That’s bad, whether or not the former causes the latter

She’s addressing in a ham-handed way the involvement of corporations in the healthcare industry

She’s running for President. Perhaps, she should quit being so hamfisted and say what she means. Unless it is what she means, in which case she can have a seat

You know, like JK really meant the Vince Foster thing and not lol dead Afghanis

I could not possibly care what she meant. She could have said literally anything. Still, don’t threaten her. Not that difficult

Or dead Pakistanis cos fuck them for harbouring bin Laden, right Axecalibur?

Fuck dead Pakistanis just as much as dead Iraqis or Afghanis. That is not at all. What I said was that, on a visceral, desensitized, 9/11 happened before I had most of my permanent teeth level, drones in Pakistan don’t phase me. It’s normal. It’s bad, and I don’t like that it’s normal for me, but it is. Take note of the doubtful, introspective tone of the comment you obviously didn’t comprehend

A+ progressiveness everybody

Gold stars for everyone, on Kettle

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

Yeah, most of these anti-Hillary ideological purity obsessed people that have come out of the woodwork recently seem much more concerned with feeling right than with any actual political or policy goals.

I’d like to know where all these Bernie or bust and/or Jill Stein people were in 2014, 2010 or hell, even odd number years have local elections. Local politics and midterm elections are so much more important for advancing progressivism. I can’t take seriously the people who only get fired up every four years for a candidate that does not have an even remote chance of winning. If people care more about the causes than getting the opportunity to be smug, they’ll put the work in on the non-presidential years too. But I never see it.

repentantphonebooth
repentantphonebooth
4 years ago

Wow, are the people harassing Jen Kirkman taking time out of their busy hate-barrage schedule to try to convince people to vote for their candidate? ‘Vote Stein, the candidate for the sociopathic troll!’

KadeKo
KadeKo
4 years ago

@repentantphonebooth: Well, some folks just have more energy!

I don’t know who Jen Kirkman is, but I’m instinctively on her side.

Folks “progressively” making those twitter threats, with those words, and simultaneously not getting the (older than the Internet) joke liberals have been making* since Newt Gingrich was on his first wife? I’ve seen enough to decide.

(*I’m so old I remember who Hillary Clinton was before she murdered Vince Foster!)

(Also anyone who’s been on Drunk History? Bonus points.)

repentantphonebooth
repentantphonebooth
4 years ago

@kadeko- that made me lol!!

Jen Kirkman is a lefty sort of comic. She used to have a great twitter account to follow, too. Sad.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@kettle
So are you going to respond to the point that others have made about you sizing the symbol “female” in order to shame someone when you are yourself using it in a bigoted manner? You never did flesh out “imply” and until you do you are useless to me.

Tragedy of the Commas
Tragedy of the Commas
4 years ago

I’m breaking my promise and returning to share this with y’all. You see, I’ve been made aware of the truth that everyone here at WHTM who has ever criticized Stein, Sanders, or either’s supporters are savage bullies who love to nutpick, taunt, misrepresent, and humiliate like Regina George.

I found this out after reading the following op-ed:

Little did we know, the media was actually pulling its punches. Once Hillary won the nomination and Vermont senator graciously and enthusiastically endorsed her, the gloves really came off. In a display of shameless schadenfreude, the media gleefully mocked Sanders supporters for being emotionally weak and cognitively damaged. If they wanted to hang around with the cool crowd, they had to remove their aluminum foil antenna from their heads, lick off their patchouli, and sit in the back, silent, hands-folded, and listening to the winners. Stinky, crazy, loud-mouthed losers, needed to get in line, sit down and shut up, immediately.

The media’s “Mean Girls” style contempt isn’t just for Bernie or Busters or Stein supporters. It’s for anyone who is, ever has been or ever might be one. Curiously, the criticism is much harsher than anything we see hurled at people supporting Trump… you know… the fascist whose potential presidency makes not supporting Clinton such an act of lunacy.

Take that, weirwoodtreehugger, Scented Fucking Hard Chairs, Paradoxical Intention, Johanna Roberts, and others including me!

Of course, this is Paste Magazine, which also had a recent piece on why Clinton can’t be trusted to appoint a better Supreme Court nominee than Trump (mostly due to her VP Kaine and because of Citizens United: “Equally distressing to this half-measure talk is the reality that without the controversial 2010 court ruling there would be no Hillary Clinton nomination.”).

repentantphonebooth
repentantphonebooth
4 years ago

Oh wow, it is true- you really think the best time to talk about your favourite candidate is during the harassment campaign of a female comic by your fellow bernie bros. Even if that op ed from a little known blog was convincing, consider on that list of tactics not one of them was threaten a comic who happens to support the opposing candidate en masse. What are you hoping for, that someone is going to feel sorry for bernie supporters? Why? Look what they are doing now.

Or maybe that entire thing was meant ironically? If so, oops, sorry, hugs, love you!

Orwells Spectre
Orwells Spectre
4 years ago

If I may suggest a moment of honest reflection here….

The next time your read or hear something talking about all the “hatred” and “vitriol” coming from the right, keep this little incident in mind. It is just one of many which show there is some serious, SERIOUS hatred and violence infused rhetoric on the Left.

The Left loves to point to things on the Right which show hatred and the like (sometimes legit, sometimes not) and yet tends to ignore the seething, ugly morass of it underneath it’s own feet. In fact, pointing to the Right continually seems often like a distraction from the hatred on the Left.

The Left is, in fact, in denial about the amount of hate which exists in it’s ranks.

Just sayin’.

pkerit
pkerit
4 years ago

I thought Hillarys body count was 75

Tragedy of the Commas
Tragedy of the Commas
4 years ago

@ repentantphonebooth

Oh, yes, I meant that ironically. It’s why I included myself as one of people hit by the “take that”. I’ve criticized Sanders and Stein before and am therefore one of the “mean girls”. I shared to mock (especially in contrast with what we’re seeing here and in the anti-Semitic and misognist memes against Clinton seen in other WHTM posts), not praise. We’re good, man.

clazy
clazy
4 years ago

You sounded so reasonable until you hit the “unhinged-Muslim-hating-racist-Donald-Trump” macro. Unhinged, very possibly, but the rest of it is lazy. I suggest substitution with cynical. I doubt Trump hates; he simply loves himself more than anyone else.

repentantphonebooth
repentantphonebooth
4 years ago

Ok, I am blushing a lot now. Sorry!!

Individual_Dude
Individual_Dude
4 years ago

In today’s anti-intellectual environment, anything that causes “uneasy feelings” is attempted to be suppressed. This cultural trend means: Abandon your minds, sheeple, and do not independently asses the ideas put forth by others. Instead, accept “the consensus,” and be driven by your feelings; human whim will lead to a better world; majority whim, “democracy,” is the ideal. And people wonder why the world is crumbling. Liberty is all but dead.

Christopher Hoving
Christopher Hoving
4 years ago

Liberals don’t have a real sense of humor. They just laugh at ridicule of people or causes they don’t like.

History Nerd
History Nerd
4 years ago

Most people in the US are moderately liberal even if they vote for Republican candidates for other reasons. But they’re not so far to the left that they will rally behind an ideologically pure progressive candidate.

A lot of “progressive” people online can be a little out of touch with reality and fall into what’s historically been considered “ultraleft” in communist circles. So, e.g., putting having an idealized vision of how things should be over getting stuff done, opposing the Democrats just as much as the GOP, criticizing feminism and other forms of identity politics “from the left,” etc. They’re a bit like the people who thought Stalin was too lax in the forced collectivizations and wanted the USSR to get more serious about violently spreading revolution to other countries.

repentantphonebooth
repentantphonebooth
4 years ago

@kettle- Irony is when the intended meaning is the opposite of the literal meaning. Hope that helps!!

JimB
JimB
4 years ago

Leftists have no sense of humor.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

Liberals don’t have a real sense of humor. They just laugh at ridicule of people or causes they don’t like.

http://i.imgur.com/vB8YFim.gif

That’s… Still a sense of humour, dude. And I can’t even say “It’s just not your sense of humour,” because it is, you just replace “Laughing at ridiculous, hateful, idiotic conspiracy theorists” with “Laughing at women, PoC, LGBT+ people, poor people, overweight people, etc.”

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

Also, I totally recognise Hoving’s name as being a literal neo-Nazi, but I can’t track him down on WHTM. Were his previous posts deleted, or did I see him elsewhere? o.O

wodun
wodun
4 years ago

Hillary and Obama went to war in Libya without congressional approval. How did that turn out?

It lead to the rise of ISIS, sex slavery, genocide, religious persecution, hundreds of thousands dead, millions displaced, a refugee invasion of Europe, hundreds of terrorist attacks, dead Americans in Benghazi, dead Americans in Europe, and misery and suffering in general.

If Hillary wasn’t a Democrat, Democrats would be calling for her imprisonment.

Crys T
Crys T
4 years ago

@SFHC Are you maybe thinking of Ken Hovind? He’s a fundie creationist type.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@wodun

Hillary and Obama went to war in Libya without congressional approval

No she didn’t

a refugee invasion of Europe

comment image
Knew it…

If Hillary wasn’t a Democrat, Democrats would be calling for her imprisonment

I should hope not. I don’t blame Condi Rice for the Iraq war. I blame Bush and Cheney. And, even then, I don’t want them imprisoned for the war itself, nor the aftermath. I want them imprisoned for the torture program, ignoring habeas corpus, Cheney outing a CIA agent, etc. Ya know, actual crimes

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

I can’t even tell if the “liberals are humorless” posts are referencing the liberals who threatened Kirkman for not liking her jokes or if they’re saying we’re humorless because we don’t think the misogyny directed at her is funny.

a refugee invasion of Europe

It’s kind of hard to take the “it’s racist to vote for Hillary Clinton” talking point seriously when you say shit like this. Oh yes, it’s sooooo progressive to call refugees invaders.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

It lead to the rise of ISIS, sex slavery, genocide, religious persecution, hundreds of thousands dead, millions displaced …

http://i.imgur.com/tg3xtb9.jpg

@Crys T

Nope, definitely Hoving… Eh, I’m sure I’ll remember after I’ve had my morning coffee. =P

@WWTH

If it was the former, they’d be posting it on Twitter towards the harassers, not here towards us.

Bunz0r
Bunz0r
4 years ago

I just wanted to say that maybe the interpretation of the joke depends on age/political awareness. Because when I read it, I immediately assumed it was poking fun at the “the Clintons murdered Vince Foster” types. I sometimes make “Hillary personally ran Vince over with a train” comments to people I know and who also know that these conspiracies are stupid.

I can see where if someone were younger (or hadn’t been following the “controversies” for the last couple of decades) and had heard a lot of talk about Hillary being a hawk, they might interpret it that way and assume it was a comment about the recent military actions abroad.

Either way, I’m about 99.9% sure that it was a sarcastic comment. “I like that she’s murdered people” = “I don’t think she actually murdered people”.

MY father always loved AND respected me
MY father always loved AND respected me
4 years ago

I would be surprised, except I read the Daily KOS article that I’m linking earlier today.

Thus, I’m not surprised about the treatment of Ms. Kirkman in the least. Sad, but not surprised.

http://m.dailykos.com/stories/1557554

Zatar
Zatar
4 years ago

Individual_Dude

abandon your minds, sheeple,

Are….Are you real?

repentantphonebooth
repentantphonebooth
4 years ago

But Wodun, I LIKE that Hillary lead to the rise of ISIS, sex slavery, genocide, religious persecution, hundreds of thousands dead, millions displaced, a refugee invasion of Europe, hundreds of terrorist attacks, dead Americans in Benghazi, dead Americans in Europe, and misery and suffering in general.

You see, the humour device I am using here is called irony. Not only do I not like any of those things, I don’t believe Hillary’s actions lead to those things. In fact, I think you are being silly for believing that to be the case. So, the punchline of the joke is not those suffering people; you are the punchline.
And that’s actually what got a bunch of bernie bros jammies in a knot. I don’t believe any of them were deficient enough not to understand there was some irony at play, they were just sore because they were being dismissed and so they lashed out like an army of screaming children.

(((VioletBeauregarde))): Prominent Misanderer of the Gynocracy
(((VioletBeauregarde))): Prominent Misanderer of the Gynocracy
4 years ago

@Repentantphonebooth:
I love your username…so random

repentantphonebooth
repentantphonebooth
4 years ago

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Patton Oswald just sicced his two million or so followers on some Canadian lady who wrote him an incredibly heartless tweet. You see, Patton made a joke about the president being bipolar or something, and he started receiving some pissed off tweets from people who (rightly imo) believe that stigmatizes the mentally ill. One such person linked Oswald’s heartfelt essay about his deceased wife to a tweet that read something like ‘I can’t believe you could say those things after writing this’. Oswald told her to fuck right off into the sun (sensible reply, imo) and she deleted the tweet. However, Oswald took a screenshot, which is now on his twitter wall. The lady who wrote the rotten tweet to oswald has made her personal account private, but the replies to the screenshot are predictably awful and some of her personal information is available. Saying a shitty thing is shitty, and bringing a dead loved one into a discussion is low, but is it twitter hordes low? She’s a random asshole who said a random asshole thing.

repentantphonebooth
repentantphonebooth
4 years ago

wait, he just called them all off. wow. that was intense.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

@repentantphonebooth

Not the first time Oswald’s done something like this. He’s a douchebag.

repentantphonebooth
repentantphonebooth
4 years ago

@scentedfuckinghardchairs- so it would seem.

And thanks, Violet!! It’s a name with a story, but for another day……

History Nerd
History Nerd
4 years ago

I don’t believe Stein is an anti-vaxxer, but she supports a number of positions that are unscientific Green Party baggage. She’s trying not to alienate the more left wing anti-vaxxers who might consider voting for her. She also thinks GMO’s should be banned until they are proven safe, even though there is no evidence that they are not safe. She also supports funding to organic farming. There is no scientific evidence that organic food is healthier than non-organic food and higher cost would be a food security issue.

Frickey Weaver
Frickey Weaver
4 years ago

The analysis in this post is pretty poorly thought out. Most of the actual leftists who got angry at the tweet seemed too feel that it was a reference to Hillary’s foreign policies killing people in other countries and not to the right-wing conspiracy theories like Vince Foster. This would be a reasonable inference since Kirkman had been arguing with left-wing Hillary critics (and not with right-wing conspiracy theorists) prior to posting that tweet. Thus it’s not at all “clear” that it was a reference to right-wing theories.

U.S. foreign policy actually does kill people. There are many possible responses to that fact, but “haha I think it’s great” isn’t a particularly tasteful one. That’s why people got upset. Of course death threats and harassment are indefensible, but it’s dishonest to suggest that Kirkman was 100% right and her only critics are misogynistic bros.

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

The Left is, in fact, in denial about the amount of hate which exists in it’s ranks.

I’ll grant you that. Right-wing hatred is far more prevalent and more dangerous, but the amount of anger, targeted harassment and scapegoating, violent rhetoric and outright violence from the left in recent years is definitely unsettling. I’m not sure if it’s ramped up lately, or I was in denial about it, or what.

Adam Smith
Adam Smith
3 years ago

Beginning in 2011, through a secret arrangement with the CIA, the State Department was given the power to green-light drone strikes. Clinton’s State Department approved the CIA’s requests in all but one or two instances.

And for Clinton, the authorization process was optimized for convenience: she could okay drone strikes straight from her cellphone.

So y’know, most of the people of the commenting here are basically factually wrong.

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