Convicted Stanford University rapist Brock Turner will speak at the Republican National Convention! It’s a comedy bit, not the truth, but in 2020, social media can be perhaps forgiven for losing its ability to tell the difference.
Comedian Jena Friedman announced the disgraced student athlete as RNC ‘special guest’ on Twitter on Tuesday, provoking a firestorm of responses as a good portion of her audience took it seriously. Would the Republicans seriously invite a registered sex offender — even one with a Stanford University pedigree — to address their convention?
BREAKING NEWS: Brock Turner, Stanford Student Athlete Who Assaulted Unconscious Woman, Will Speak At RNC.
— Jena Friedman (@JenaFriedman) August 18, 2020
I almost retweeted this without realizing it was a joke.
Wait, is it a joke?
— John “Mail-in” = “Absentee” (@JohnDellaporta) August 18, 2020
Those who’d initially fallen for the gag defended their credulousness by pointing out “the level of ‘talent’ [the RNC] have actually attracted” wasn’t much higher than the young swimmer who became a hated poster child for privilege after he was charged with raping classmate Chanel Miller in 2015.
Maybe they’ll have a hologram of Epstein
— Sandi Bachom (@sandibachom) August 18, 2020
The GOP inviting a convicted rapist to speak at its convention would actually be mundane by 2020 standards, some pointed out, referencing the sexual assault allegations leveled against President Donald Trump and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
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Conservatives weighed in by pointing out that alleged serial sex offender Bill Clinton was actually set to speak at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night just hours after photos of him receiving a (fully clothed) massage on deceased pedophile and blackmail aficionado Jeffrey Epstein’s plane were published.
Brock Turner not actually speaking at GOP convention (it was a joke that made no sense)
Bill Clinton actually speaking at DNC convention
Facts left here without further comment
— Ring Master Rattle (@RingMasterRa33) August 18, 2020
And plenty of respondents seemed to be as upset by jokes about Turner speaking at the RNC than they would have been had Turner actually been slated to speak there, accusing Friedman of having “DIRECTLY harmed many survivors” with her joke and insisting that while they “got it,” it was simply beyond the pale to joke about such things.
This is not remotely funny. Her rape isn’t a punchline. Neither are the victims of anyone else at the RNC. Using their rapes for cheap likes and retweets is honestly disgusting.
— Justice for Breonna Taylor (@justkelly_ok) August 18, 2020
“It’s not satire if it’s indistinguishable from truth,” one user sniffed.
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