A comedian tried to make a joke about convicted sex offender Brock Turner speaking at the Republican National Convention (RNC), but she only ended up getting flamed and spreading misinformation.
Jena Friedman, best known for her work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Late Show with David Letterman, tweeted early Tuesday morning that Turner is slated to speak at the RNC.
“BREAKING NEWS: Brock Turner, Stanford Student Athlete Who Assaulted Unconscious Woman, Will Speak At RNC,” she wrote.
Turner was convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault after attempting to rape an unconscious woman in 2015. Turner, according to CNN, spent three months in jail—half of his six-month sentence.
Because of the RNC’s speaker line-up—which includes the St. Louis gun-touting “Ken and Karen” couple and Covington graduate Nicholas Sandmann—some actually believed the claim.
It wasn’t long until “Brock Turner” became a trending topic.
Some users got in on Friedman’s joke, while others denounced it. “Fuck that viral joke tweet about Brock Turner speaking at the RNC. Don’t make jokes about someone’s rapist. It’s gross. You’re not being clever, you’re spreading misinformation at the expense of survivors,” writer Ella Dawson tweeted.
#RNC2020 Night 1 lineup
6:00- QAnon Update
6:30- Karen rants about masks
7:00- Kid Rock
7:30- some fucking cops
8:00- a Confederate flag
8:30- a literal Nazi
9:30- Ben Shapiro
10:00- Brock Turner
10:30- that white couple with guns
11:00- the Monopoly man
11:30- Mike Pence
— smells like guillotine spirit🌹🚩🎭 (@DylanTweetin) August 18, 2020
Fuck that viral joke tweet about Brock Turner speaking at the RNC.
Don't make jokes about someone's rapist. It's gross. You're not being clever, you're spreading misinformation at the expense of survivors.
— ella dawson (@brosandprose) August 18, 2020
Eventually, Friedman had to clarify that she was joking. “I don’t want to get kicked off twitter for other people not understanding satire,” she wrote in a follow-up.
This isn’t the first time Friedman has spread misinformation while trying to crack jokes on Twitter. In April, she tweeted that White House adviser Stephen Miller tested positive for COVID-19. In May, she tweeted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tested positive. She also used the “BREAKING NEWS” format to frame those tweets, and they were similarly poorly received.
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