In strict evasion of any comment about abortion, liberals, conservatives and vaginal probes, I'd like to talk about Senator Rapert's moves as they pertain to social media and public relations.
I'm paying attention as a social media editor to how this plays out online. There's a formula with steps - blog to news, news back to blog, news updates original story, tweets all the while, national attention, and eventually an auto-tuned viral video and a spot on John Stewart.
I've read other people more intelligently discuss this, but here's my go.
Someone in the office said, "Is Jason Rapert the Applebees of local politicians?"
Question was posed after I saw the Senator's Facebook page is now gone.
There's a comparison because Applebees had a similar onslaught of critical comments in an 'overnight social media meltdown.'
Someone at Applebees corporate who stays up very late, and I don't know, has a glass of wine or two, got too emotional on the company's Facebook page amid a PR storm. People got blocked, posts got personal.
See Twitter #ChelseaWelch.
The waitress, Chelsea, posted a receipt from an Applebees customer on Reddit. The content was good, so it became viral.
The receipt is signed by a pastor, who asks an Applebees server why she owes her 18 percent when she's required to give God only 10.
The backlash when the restaurant fired the girl was a tidal wave of bad PR.
As you all are, the rest of the Internet is a surprisingly good investigator for lack of formal training, and it was countered that Applebees had not too far in the distant past posted a customer's name in a good for business context.
That share had mysteriously been deleted, but someone, somewhere, had the good discernment to store it and bring it up again.
It rolled like a Katamari ball down the hill from there.
Senator Rapert's page is gone, but I had taken more than one look at it. Just as the Applebees crowd had, the Internet went to the Senator's Facebook to tell him where they believe he went wrong.
Because we're mean people, the Internet was mean to the Senator.
I saw the comments growing as quickly as on any public official or corporation, or journalist's worst day.
I didn't see the ones that apparently talked about his children.
I did see one from an Arkansan of Middle Eastern descent. It was a well-written letter that didn't attack, but asked a lot of questions. According to him, he was blocked after that.
A lot of people were by their own accounts, so they moved to a new location. The new Facebook page with 128 likes demands the Senator's resignation.
I don't know what time the Senator's page was taken down or why.
Even so, the conversation continues.