Less than 24 hours after a tragic New Mexico film set accident involving Alec Baldwin claimed the life of a cinematographer and injured the movie's director, Republicans were already making light of the incident and cracking jokes about Baldwin, a longtime right-wing boogeyman.
The A-lister was reportedly rehearsing for a scene in the western, "Rust," when he fired a prop gun that was loaded with a "live single round." The shot killed the film's 42-year-old director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and injured director Joel Souza, 48, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 44 said in an email to its members.
Just hours after news of the incident broke, Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance was already online and gloating about the situation.
"Dear @jack," he wrote, tagging Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. "Let Trump back on. We need Alec Baldwin tweets."
The message was not received well, and drew criticism from Vance's prospective Democratic opponent, Tim Ryan, who replied: "Someone died, you assh*le."
But he wasn't the only one deriding Baldwin in the wake of the tragedy — conservative commentator Candace Owens added in a since-deleted Tweet that "what has happened to Alec would be poetic justice if it weren't for the actual innocent people that were murdered by him."
She later added: "Will correct that last tweet to say Alec Baldwin *killed* someone— not murdered someone, as murder carries a different legal definition."
A number of other pundits and right-wing personalities also jumped on a tweet of Baldwin's from the first round of Black Lives Matter protests, in 2014, which read: "I'm going to make bright, banana-yellow T-shirts that read: "My hands are up. Please don't shoot me." Who wants one?"
Even Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., got in on the action, posting a screenshot of Baldwin's tweet with the caption: "@AlecBaldwin are these still available? Asking for a movie producer…"
The comments horrified a number of Twitter users, who flooded the Congresswoman's replies with admonitions.
"Have you no shame? Remove this tweet. It's utterly disrespectful to the victim & her family," one person wrote.
"I'm sorry you are so broken inside," another added.
Baldwin released his first statement Friday since the incident occurred, saying the he was cooperating with authorities and that he has spoken with Hutchins' family.
"There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours," he tweeted.
"I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."
Trump is 'hungry' for a rematch whenever Biden's approval dips — and it would take 'a prison sentence' to stop him: DC insider
On Friday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," David Gergen, a Beltway insider who worked under four presidents, said that former President Donald Trump has been emboldened in his determination to run for president again every time bad news or bad polling has hit President Joe Biden.
Recent reporting indicates that Trump had to be talked out of prematurely announcing his 2024 run by his aides this summer — and, said Gergan, the impulse has not gone away.
"The signs are that he's increasingly interested," said Gergen. "Strikingly, Anderson, they intensify when he sees Biden in trouble. During the Afghanistan situation, he was really chomping at the bit, according to the various reports, he had to be talked out of it. And now, the economy still not straightening out and pandemic still not over, you know, there — that just makes Trump very, very hungry."
"I think it's going to take something hugely unexpected, or change — dramatic change in his health or prison sentence to stop him," added Gergen.
David Gergen says Trump is "hungry" for a rematch against Biden www.youtube.com
'History will not judge us kindly': Facebook internal messages show employees fuming on Jan. 6 over company's role in Capitol riot
Facebook employees fumed with anger and regret on an internal messaging system on Jan. 6, as they blamed the company for contributing to the Capitol insurrection.
"This is not a new problem," one employee wrote on Facebook's Workplace messaging system, according to a new report from the Washington Post. "We have been watching this behavior from politicians like Trump, and the — at best — wishy washy actions of company leadership, for years now. We have been reading the [farewell] posts from trusted, experienced and loved colleagues who write that they simply cannot conscience working for a company that does not do more to mitigate the negative effects on its platform."
Another employee wrote bitterly on Workplace: "Never forget the day Trump rode down the escalator in 2015, called for a ban on Muslims entering the US, [and] we determined that it violated our policies, and yet we explicitly overrode the policy and didn't take the video down. There is a straight line that can be drawn from that day to today, one of the darkest days in the history of democracy and self-governance. Would it have made a difference in the end? We can never know, but history will not judge us kindly."
A third employee recalled the anger in June 2020, after Black Lives Matter protesters had been forcibly cleared from a park next to the White House before Trump walked through for a photo opportunity during which he denounced the demonstrations, the Post reports.
"Employees have been crying out for months to start treating high-level political figures the same way we treat each other on the platform. That's all we're asking for," the employee wrote. "Last we spoke, innocent protesters were tear-gassed under the orders of a political figure whose message was amplified. Today, a coup was attempted against the United States. I hope circumstances aren't even more dire next time we speak."
The Post's report is based on thousands of pages of internal Facebook documents that were turned over to the Securities and Exchange Commission by whistleblower Frances Haugen.
"The SEC documents, which were provided to Congress in redacted form by Haugen's legal counsel and reviewed by The Post and other news organizations, suggest that Facebook moved too quickly after the election to lift measures that had helped suppress some election-related misinformation," the newspaper reports. "The rushed effort to restore them on Jan. 6 was not enough to stop the surge of hateful, violent posts, documents show. A company after-action report concluded that in the weeks after the election, Facebook did not act forcefully enough against the Stop the Steal movement that was pushed by Trump's political allies, even as its presence exploded across the platform."
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