The Lookout

Post-Super Bowl, Twitter becomes home for tasteless tweets

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On Monday—a day that should have been dominated by talk of the Super Bowl blackout, Beyoncé's electric halftime performance and, oh yeah, the Baltimore Ravens' victory—the personal Twitter accounts of at least four current and former political figures sparked some understandable backlash.

During the Super Bowl power outage on Sunday, Michael Brown, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency under President George W. Bush, published a tweet mocking Hurricane Katrina refugees.

Brown, who was in charge of managing the federal response to the 2005 hurricane that killed more than 1,800 people and left thousands of residents homeless, resigned in the wake of criticism of the agency's handling of the storm.

As ill-advised as Brown's tweet appeared, it wasn't as tasteless as the vitriol unleashed by Todd Kincannon, a former executive director of the South Carolina GOP. Kincannon managed to link offensive tweets about Trayvon Martin, race, homosexuality and Planned Parenthood to the Super Bowl. (None are suitable for printing here.)

On Monday, Sen. John McCain elicited some criticism with a tweet that referred to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a "monkey."

An hour later, the Arizona senator insisted it was a joke, and that his Twitter followers "lighten up."

Also on Monday, Ron Paul, the former Texas Congressman and Republican presidential hopeful, tweeted a contextually tasteless line about the death of former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who police say was killed at a gun range by a disturbed former Marine Kyle was trying to help.

A spokeswoman for Paul told Buzzfeed that the 77-year-old former Libertarian candidate is now running his own Twitter feed.

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