Jon Stewart has upset some folks here the last couple nights with his focus on the media in the Trayvon Martin case, and he may upset some people here again for this, but he's spot on in calling out Spike Lee for tweeting the wrong address of George Zimmerman, which led to threats being made against an innocent elderly couple, who had to move to a motel temporarily out of fear for their lives.
The problem, as John Cole noted, is that this is the bullshit Michelle Malkin does, giving out home addresses and phone numbers of people she doesn't like, specifically for the purpose of her psychotic fan base terrorizing those people, whether they're UC Santa Cruz students or Graeme Frost. And just watch, Malkin WILL use this as her defense in a "both sides do it" argument the next time she posts private information about a private citizen.
Oh, and looks like Spike Lee followed Jon's advice and called the McClains to apologize personally, and DID offer to pay the costs.
Lee apologized on Twitter to the couple and asked people to leave them in peace, and on Thursday, Elaine McClain said, Lee called her and gave a sincere apology.Still, just watch. The right-wing WILL use Spike Lee in their "both sides do it" the next time they hunt down an innocent citizen who dares to speak out.
Lee also told her he would pay the couple's cost of having to leave their home, Elaine McClain said.
The family's attorney, Matt Morgan, said Lee reached an agreement with the couple.
"The McClains are relieved that this matter is now behind them," Morgan said. "We had a very sincere and heartfelt conversation with Mr. Lee today. His apology was genuine and our clients were grateful. We asked Mr. Lee to do the right thing and he did."
Video and transcript below the fold.
Next up is a flashpoint social issue gaffe, concerning the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman.Jon also covered the Supreme Court case on "Obamacare" using Taiwanese animation since cameras aren't allowed inside.
MARTHA MACCALLUM (3/28/2012): The Florida couple says that they are living in fear after someone tweeted their address as the home of George Zimmerman.What?! Who would do something that asinine? Hopefully, it's one of these fringe Twitter crackpots with like 12 followers, and the damage is mitigated.
3/28/2012:Yes, sending a lynch mob to the wrong address is a bad mistake. But I gotta say, even if it was the right address, that's still a bad fucking mistake. Sending a lynch mob to anybody's address is a bad mistake. Right address, wrong address, lynch mob..... (Jon makes squealing noises while waving hands "no")
MARTHA MACCALLUM: Matters got much worse when Spike Lee reportedly retweeted to all of his followers that address. He has 250,000 followers. ... And now you've got Spike Lee retweeting somebody's home address without verifying whose it is.
BILL HEMMER: That's a bad mistake.
MARTHA MACCALLUM: It certainly is.
And Spike, you're a 55-year-old man. Leave the cyber-bullying to teenagers. You know, it's as immature as stealing Sally Jessy Raphael's glasses.
Seriously, Spike, did you steal Sally Jessy Raphael's glasses?
How could this get any worse?3/29/2012:The people whose address you tweeted are the most adorable people ever!
ELAINE MCCLAIN: My husband said we don't have a George that lives here, and don't know anyone, and then the next day we got hate mail.
DAVID MCCLAIN: It was an envelope addressed with a black Magic Marker to George Zimmerman. It said, "Taste the Rainbow". I guess that's the Skittles catchphrase.
ELAINE MCCLAIN (3/29/2012): It's been really, really hard. Really hard. I have a heart condition and high blood pressure, and this has just skyrocketed it.Oh, of course you do, I'm so sorry. You moved to Florida so you could finally relax and enjoy these years, and you suddenly find yourself living on the corner of Bullseye Street and Angry Mob Avenue.
Spike, tell me you've made this right.CHRIS JANSING (3/28/2012): Spike Lee's tweet has since been removed.Oh good. We all know once something's removed from Twitter, it's gone forever.
Like it never happened, damage fixed. C'mon Spike!SOLEDAD O'BRIEN (3/29/2012): Spike wrote on Twitter last night, "I deeply apologize to the McClain family for retweeting their address. It was a mistake. Please leave the McClain's in peace. Justice in court."All right, well, that's actually a nice heartfelt apology. Although, call me crazy, something tells me, a tweet isn't the ideal medium for apologizing to 71-year-olds.
ELAINE MCCLAIN (3/29/2012): I've never tweeted. I don't even text.Of course you don't, you're too busy baking cookies for the neighborhood kids, and sewing your granddaughter a quilt... you're adorable!
Seriously, Spike, apologize to these people in a way they can comprehend. Tape a note to their grandkids. Hold up a sign at a Knicks game.
Or call them. That's what they really want. That's all any Florida retiree really wants. Pick up the phone and call them. And then, help them move.