'Snow Fun on Twitter

Political beef in 140 characters or less

'Snow Fun on Twitter

It was a normal day in the Twitterverse: @MattGlazer of Burnt Orange Report, @LonghornDerek from Ryan Data and @MQSullivan of Empower Texans were trading jibes. Then someone chimes in and tells Glazer to stop breathing, and a healthy exchange of insults turned ugly.

The argument, unsurprisingly, revolved around whether today's weather is related to global climate change. This is when @DustinMatocha added:

You could start curbing it by stop exhaling it. RT @MattGlazer: We know CO2 is cause, so let's curb it.
Now this would seem like the normal kind of comment in a free-for-all Tweet-off like this: That is, if it wasn't for the fact that Matocha is also social media coordinator for Empower Texans (which would make Sullivan his boss.)

Glazer forwarded this to the media, replying to Matocha

wow! thanks for chiming in. really didn't expect death threat today (CC: @LegeLand @statesman @KVUE @KXAN_News @mqsullivan)

Matocha first claimed then he didn't mean for his comments to be taken literally, then retweeted a tweet from @Omarg (aka Omar Gallaga of the Statesman) that accused himself and Glazer of being "silly and thin-skinned," then added that it didn't really matter because he wasn't commenting in any official capacity. As he tweeted to Texas Democratic Trust communications specialist Phillip Martin:

funny, you keeping spelling @dustinmatocha as "@empowertexans". Already have your facts wrong. (get 'em Politifact!)
I guess that means @EmpowerTexans are Longhorn fans since I tweet about UT too. #yourlogicisflawed
That would probably fly more if it the link on his personal Twitter account wasn't to (drumroll, please) empowertexans.com.

And then it got ugly. Glazer pointed out that some of Matocha's Twitter followers feature serious anti-government, "Second Amendment remedies"-style rhetoric on their websites.

@omarg I have received 10 e-mails since this started with similar gun images. Rhetoric has consequences Omar.

After this, the discussion seemed to subside, with Glazer and Ryan discussing the best way to stay warm on a cold day. Meanwhile Sullivan retweeted an incorrect tweet that claimed that Ronald Reagan said "Facts are stubborn things" (in fact, it was John Adams that said stubborn: Reagan called them stupid.)

But there is a more serious question here. Campaign pros and the politerati know that Twitter fights are normally about as serious as diss tracks in a rap beef. But smart rappers know that beef swirls out of control, and you need to think about what your posse does. Especially when your posse might be armed.

(Note: Omar Gallaga has asked that we clarify that, even though his tweet read "@MattGlazer @DustinMatocha Alerting the media makes you look silly and thin-skinned. It's the Internet. Grow up." he was only actually talking to Glazer.)

More Twitter
Dan Patrick Excoriated Over Orlando Shooting Tweet
Dan Patrick Excoriated Over Orlando Shooting Tweet
Lite Guv blames Twitter debacle on timing, not bigotry

Richard Whittaker, June 12, 2016

“Dear Mayor Adler …”
The Mayor's Mailbag
Angry Uber and Lyft fans vent profane outrage on City Hall

Michael King, May 14, 2016

More Dirty Tricks
You Don't Wanna Mess With Shady Stockman
You Don't Wanna Mess With Shady Stockman
Establishment GOP determined to hunt down Cornyn challenger

Richard Whittaker, Jan. 7, 2014

Game of Senators
Game of Senators
Patrick and Carona spill blood and venom in lite guv fight

Richard Whittaker, May 7, 2012

More by Richard Whittaker
With Ti West <i>In a Valley of Violence</i>
With Ti West In a Valley of Violence
Director on PTSD, Westerns, and the world's greatest dog

Oct. 21, 2016

Listen to MondoCon
Listen to MondoCon
Your essential guide to this weekend's Mondo vinyl exclusives

Oct. 21, 2016


Twitter, Dirty Tricks, climate, Matt Glazer, Ryan Data, Dustin Matocha, Empower Texans, MQ Sullivan, Michael Quinn Sullivan, Burnt Orange Report

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)