Just as it seemed the Penn State child sex abuse scandal had tallied its last victim, another innocent got caught in the fray—this time America's adorable, braying colt Ashton Kutcher, who was forced to silence his usual babe-in-the-woods babbling on Twitter after making a controversial statement regarding the firing of football coach Joe Paterno. “How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste,” Kutcher tra-la-laed last night in his usual, carefree way, having somehow managed to hear of Paterno’s dismissal without burdening himself with the why, probably because he was busy with all the acting. Naturally, Kutcher’s tweet (which has since been removed) caused an online furor—particularly as Kutcher’s defense of Paterno would seem contrary to his well-documented stance against children being sexually abused by men who are not manly enough to iron their own sandwiches.
Kutcher, as is his wont, then began to live-tweet his reading of a newspaper or watching of a television or something, saying, “This is an insane story, I just heard paterno was fired, getting the rest of the story now…” The suspense of that ellipsis was mercifully short-lived: Having finally absorbed a complete sentence, cruel understanding set in. “Heard Joe was fired,” Kutcher said. “Didn't have full story. #admitwhenyoumadeamistake.” Unfortunately, Kutcher's hash-tagged apology neither sparked a trending topic nor assuaged angry followers. Properly shamed by people calling him an “idiot” more often than usual, Kutcher—for so long one of Twitter’s loudest advocates, in addition to being just plain loud—came to the realization that so many celebrities have had before him. “As of immediately I will stop tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed,” he said, fruitlessly searching for an emoticon that would convey the gravity of his feelings. “I feel awful about this error. Won't happen again.”
As proof that it wouldn’t, Kutcher then posted a link to a long blog post decrying the way Twitter has changed from a helpful, understanding online utopia—like the Internet’s idyllic small town, where nobody has to lock their doors or think before saying stuff, because we’re all neighbors—into a place where people actually became angry if a famous person says something ill-informed to his 8 million followers, and media outlets then use those statements as part of a campaign to smear them by directly quoting their actual thoughts. All of this was but a prelude to Kutcher officially declaring—his heart hanging heavy, like one of those totally awesome droopy wool caps—that he’s taking his tweet-ball and going home.
“While I will continue to express myself through @Aplusk I'm going to turn the management of the feed over to my team at Katalyst Media to ensure the quality of it's [sic] content,” Kutcher said, every typo and grammatical error in his post another wave goodbye to innocence. And so, Ashton Kutcher has put away the childish things of his unfiltered, stunted thoughts and pledged ever after to speak like a man—a man whose every word is filtered through his team of publicists—and just like that, this scandal forced yet another to grow up so darn fast. [via EW]
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