An aide to both Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Republican senator Scott Brown has admitted to creating the @CrazyKhazei Twitter account parodying Brown’s political opponent, including writing a distasteful tweet making fun of the “It Gets Better” project for gay youth.
As the Boston Globe reported last week, Eric Fehrnstrom, senior campaign advisor to Brown, has taken responsibility for the @CrazyKhazei account.
The account, which has since been removed, poked fun at Democratic Senate candidate Alan Khazei, Brown’s opponent in Massachusetts. And while parodies are usually welcome on Twitter, some think this one went too far in its tweets, breaching the political code of ethics.
Here are some of the tweets that Fehrnstrom sent from the @CrazyKhazei account:
“Just read Scott Brown’s book. He isn’t the only one who had it tough growing up. I once got a splinter.”
“Just got back from sunny California. Thanks to all the elitists there for donating to my campaign.”
And in reference to the “It Gets Better” campaign:
“I promise to devote all my time in office to making gay videos. Shame on Scott Brown for focusing on jobs!”
As the Washington Post notes, the link between Fehrnstrom and this tasteless account was made when Blue Mass Group noticed a tweet posted to Fehrnstrom’s own account that appeared similar to the tweets normally posted to @CrazyKhazei. The tweet read:
“I’m excited to announce that Cindy Creem is the newest hire at my charity. Be the Change #mapoli #masen”
It’s quite easy to send a tweet from the wrong account, especially if you’re managing multiple accounts from a single platform like HootSuite or TweetDeck.
After a stretch of silence, Fehrnstrom sent an email to the Boston Globe admitting that he was behind the parody account – but offering no apology:
“Sometimes we take our politics too seriously and this was my way of lightening things up. As they say in politics, if you can’t stand the tweet, get out of the kitchen.”
This wasn’t quite impersonation, but parodying your opponent on Twitter is definitely dirty politics.
What do you think? Did Fehrnstrom go too far, or was the account successful in “lightening up” politics? Let us know in the comments!