The Internet Finds Scapegoats in the Wake of Tragedy

There's no doubt about it, today's news has been pretty horrific. These jerks made things worse, but on the other hand, they allowed some of us a target for our rage. Not that that helps us feel much better. 

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There's no doubt about it, today's news has been pretty horrific. These jerks made things worse. While most of us are still piecing together the blurriness and violence of this morning's shooting in Aurora, Colorado, others were doing things like trying to make money off the "trending topic" on Twitter, sending out irresponsible information about the (wrong) alleged murderer, or even insensitively tweeting to this morning's "shooters." With emotions running high, it's no surprise these guys became targets of our rage:

Celeb Boutique: An online retailer based in the U.K.

The Offense: 

Really? Props go out to Celeb Boutique for somehow reaching the second stratosphere of disgustingness by maneuvering Kim Kardashian into this classless tweet. And what's with the winky emoticon? Does that mean the ham-fisted social media monkey in charge of this company's Twitter actually knows he/she made a terrible joke?  Ugh.

Punishment: Twitter wrath.

The Apology: According to Celeb Boutique's Twitter account, its social media and PR team aren't U.S.-based and simply saw Aurora trending. Perhaps it's just us, but don't you click on what's trending before you write about it? Even if this news was only out in the U.S. (which it's not), if you're tweeting, you have Internet, right? Anyways, here's the full, long-winded, not-quite-good-enough apology.

Brian Ross: The investigative correspondent for ABC News, who's been with the network since 1994

The Offense: Pointed to the wrong guy as the alleged shooter; linking the shooting to the Tea Party

Really? Having to correct yourself as Ross had to do is embarrassing in its own right. But as The Huffington Post's Jack Mirkinson points out, "The page that Ross seems to have been looking at has no identifiable information about the person on it other than his name." Mother Jones's Adam Serwer puts it best:

The Punishment: After throwing that faulty information out there, Ross got yelled at by both those on the left and the right.

The Apology: ABC now has this embarrassing editor's note on the top of the biggest story of the day:

Editor's Note: An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.

The NRA: The National Rifle Association

The Offense:

Really?  The @NRA_Rifleman Twitter account has been deleted, but it used to be the "official handle of the NRA's American Rifleman journal. They sent the tweet (above) at 9:50 this morning, as they do every Friday apparently. As with the offensive tweet from the U.K. above, a little discretion and thinking ahead could've been used, especially when the NRA has done things in the past like, say, sell concealed weapon hoodies in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. 

The Punishment: Slate called the NRA the "leader in the clubhouse for the worst-timed tweet of the day."

The Apology: As we mentioned the Twitter account has been wiped off the face of the Twitter universe. Deadspin has the official response from the NRA who say that an actual person sent out the tweet. "A single individual, unaware of events in Colorado, tweeted a comment that is being completely taken out of context," said Andrew Arulanandam, NRA director of Public Affairs.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.