It’s tricky writing a piece about how Hillary Clinton lost the second debate without using the words “Hillary Clinton” and “lost” uncomfortably close to each other, but journalists found a way, thanks to town hall participant Ken Bone. His norm-core anti-style was just the antidote America needed in a poisonous campaign season.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) October 10, 2016
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) October 10, 2016
— CNN (@CNN) October 10, 2016
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) October 10, 2016
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) October 11, 2016
However, it looks like Bone might not be able to wring his full 15 minutes of fame out of that red sweater, and even his status as a Twitter Moment seems overlong in retrospect. In fact, people are starting to regret those think pieces faster than it took to regret ordering that official Bone T-shirt, or worse, that Sexy Kenneth Bone Halloween costume.
— Ken Bone (@kenbone18) October 13, 2016
— Mashable (@mashable) October 12, 2016
So why is everyone suddenly being so bad to Bone? Well, it seems that as part of his whirlwind tour of every media outlet available, Bone agreed to participate in an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. It’s not so much the answers he gave, though, that were problematic; rather, by participating in the session he revealed his Reddit alias, allowing anyone and everyone to look up his posting history on the site.
The Washington Post was among many outlets that gave a roundup of Bone’s online activities:
Bone occasionally commented in NSFW subreddits — including one called “preggoporn,” talked about his sex life after a vasectomy, described forging car insurance documents in the past “so I wouldn’t get fired from my pizza delivery job” while earning the money he needed to pay for his real insurance, commented on the stolen nude images released during Celebgate, and argued that the killing of Trayvon Martin was “justified” — but that George Zimmerman also seemed to be a “bad guy.”
The New York Times added that Bone “also commented on pictures of scantily clad women on the Bodyperfection and RealGirls subreddits.”
That’s all it took for some (well, most) media outlets to withdraw their endorsements of Bone overnight. Didn’t anyone vet this guy before elevating him to “the American Hero we need” status? How could seasoned journalists fall for a charismatic outsider and then turn tail so easily? Is the public culpable for giving him undue attention and thus foisting him on the press?
Ignore the sweater and check out this flip-flop:
Ken Bone is the American hero we need: pic.twitter.com/rv2xGLsbBN
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) October 11, 2016
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) October 14, 2016
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) October 10, 2016
Ken Bone is actually kind of an awful guy https://t.co/y2a8HBuTxj
— New York Post (@nypost) October 15, 2016
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 14, 2016
Even the New York Times reported that “we” might be leaving the Bone Zone, though it tried its best to let America down gently. Bone isn’t the apocalypse personified — he’s just a flawed human being like the rest of us under that red sweater.
It is Mr. Bone’s turn to show the world that he is a flawed person — a human, even — who decided to take the ride when insta-fame was given to him.
He might also now be forced to acknowledge that he has said and done things that are bad, unpopular or even illegal. And the rest of us, in our indignant perfection, will shake our heads and tweet about it.
What did this private individual do to merit scrutiny of his internet commenting history in the NYT? Such a joke https://t.co/zpR0ZWch9M
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) October 14, 2016
He said the Trayvon Martin shooting was "justified." If he hadn't, there would be no scrutiny. @mtracey
— Aidan T. Tierian (@FashyEconomics) October 14, 2016
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) October 14, 2016
Comment history? Hasn’t the guy heard of BleachBit?
Once you have the wrong opinions you get your personality destroyed.
— Jason (@EnemyWithinn) October 14, 2016
@mtracey He was just the average American exploited then ridiculed then personally destroyed by the Left-wing MSM. What's the big surprise?
— Trump Card (@TrumpDelivers) October 14, 2016
— Justin Osborn (@justin_osborn) October 14, 2016
— Paul Revere (@TheVoiceOfPaulR) October 15, 2016
@mtracey Yet they wonder WHY they get boo'd, cursed & told that they suck. They just can't imagine why ppl are so angry. Keep pushing media.
— #ClintonCash (@gretstan) October 14, 2016