Sometimes A Joke Really Isn’t Very Funny.

Earlier today the AJC sent out and quickly deleted a rather shocking tweet:


As you can imagine the tweet went viral with Twitchy and Politico picking up on it.

The AJC moments ago apologized:

I hope this puts the incident to rest and nobody is fired over this. It was offensive to be sure but clearly an attempt at humor that went horribly wrong.

All I ask is that the folks at the AJC go easy on my colleagues should one of them make a poor attempt at humor in the future.


  1. Charlie says:

    I appreciate Buzz’s take on this, and agree with it.

    The AJC has taken a remarkably non-rigid approach to twitter, and has allowed a certain freedom to mix humor and **say it with me now** snark that is required to be a successful twitter presence.

    To do this requires allowing folks who are trying to break news to have lightning fast judgment, wit, discretion, and may other skills on a constant basis. It doesn’t always work.

    The mistake is admitted, Anyone who feels they are owed an apology should accept.

    Life’s short. Unless you have no sense of humor. Then it is long and painful. Mostly for those of us who have to be around you.

  2. George Chidi says:

    My sense of it is that the author was referencing the infamous — and fabricated — Willie Lynch letter that has long circulated in the black community in the south. The mythical tale is of a plantation owner describing how he kept his slaves under control by pitting them socially against one another. I first heard references to Willie Lynch from a political fixer and black church preacher in North Carolina about 10 years ago.

    It’s still ham-handed, but $10 says that the author of the tweet is African-American. And, yes, I also hope that all that happens is that the unnamed Tweeter loses their Twitter privileges. They’ve fired enough folks at the paper.

  3. Baker says:

    I don’t have much to add here but wanted to echo Charlie a bit about how much I appreciate the AJC’s approach to Twitter so far. I really enjoy some of their takes on the news, humorous and informal. Here’s hoping they really don’t change anything.

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