Ebert’s Comments Came Too Soon

Ryan Dunn

Roger Ebert is back on Facebook, but he was MIA for a while this morning following complaints about a post Ebert wrote after news broke of the death of Jackass star Ryan Dunn.

“Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive,” he wrote. Dunn’s Jackass co-star Bam Margera was among those angered by the post. (“…fuck you!” were among Margera’s choice words.) But others agreed with Ebert. Dunn posted a picture of himself holding a drink in the hours before his death. A toxicology report, which will be complete in the next four to six weeks, will determine if alcohol was involved with the accident.

A Facebook spokesperson told EW.com that the action had been an error. On his blog today, Ebert stands by his statement, but says, “I don’t know what happened in this case, and I was probably too quick to tweet. That was unseemly.”

“People don’t need truth bombs when they’re grieving,” a commenter wrote on the blog.

It’s been said many times: “Think before you tweet.” The same goes for Facebook. And, take it a step further, the same goes for media pitches. Not everything that happens in the world is an opportunity to sell yourself or your client as a source. We’ve gotten a couple of pitches that are just ugh, to be sure.

We tweeted yesterday about the backlash against Google’s Father’s Day campaign that added a “Call Dad” reminder to the Gmail voice calling feature. One Twitter commenter said, “Definitely needed a devil’s advocate at this planning session.” That’s not a bad idea. Take a moment. Breathe. Think on it. Then decide if what you’re about to say is really what you’d like to say.

*Update: A toxicology report on Ryan Dunn is complete, and shows that the Jackassstar had a blood alcohol level that was twice the legal limit for the state of Pennsylvania, where the accident occurred. The report could be attributed to the media attention that the crash has gotten.