The New York Times had Quinn Norton as one of their opinionists for about one day before her tweets were “exposed” (considering they were not deleted and were always public, it is hard to make an argument about exposure, or unearthed, considering information can be called up with a search engine, not digging through papers), and now the Guardian has a similar problem with David Vujanic, described as a Serbian “anti-racism YouTube star” whose own tweets were, for the lack of a better term, also exposed.
He made Hitler/Holocaust jokes and used racial slurs about five years ago. I am not certain if the former offence was a poor attempt at dark humour from someone whose people also were slaughtered in the Holocaust, but my grandmother’s family was killed in concentration camps during that period, and I am not one to make cracks because it is not the way I cope. That’s not an excuse at any rate. I have seen photographs of the atrocities committed by the fascist Ustaše, and it was not humane in the least, and were far worse than the Nazis in their torture and killing of Serbian civilians during the Second World War.
But the racial slurs do not have a single grain of leeway. None. The Guardian took down the video, which itself was not offensive. What was offensive was the old tweets.
You would think that in 2018 where what is left of the news media, who are already obsessed with what people on Twitter rant about, would vet, looking at early tweets.
It still is a Live Out Loud generation. The Guardian should have done some homework. The New York Times could have done some homework.
Because people who live and die by social media seem to know all about these lapses.
There is a difference between being controversial and being offensive.
He was being offensive and obtuse, and the Guardian should have properly vetted him.