Social media has provided a free, quick, and easy way to speak to the public without pesky journalists getting in the way. But it has its perils, too.
State Sen. Barbara Favola, an Arlington Democrat, learned that painful lesson the other day when she participated in a Democratic fundraiser. As part of the silent auction, the Fairfax County Democratic Party tweeted out an offer of "A Day in Richmond With Senator Favola": The high bidder would win a welcome on the Senate floor, a tour of the Capitol, the chance to attend committee hearings, and the opportunity to “help out in the senator’s busy legislative office” (oh joy).
Good-government types protested. Favola promptly walked the offer back: “I never approved this auction item and I asked that the item be pulled!” she tweeted. In a Monday interview, she explained: “I was auctioning the lunch. We just happened to say that these other things would be included.’”
Seventh District Rep. Dave Brat, a Republican, feels her pain. A couple of months ago his Twitter account “liked” some controversial tweets, including one that asked who was paying Parkland shooting survivor and gun-control activist David Hogg. The Brat office blamed a staffer.
Everybody makes mistakes, and sometimes politicians take the hit for something another person did. The latest incidents validate the maxim that those who tweet in haste repent in leisure.