On Monday morning, Washington awoke to learn that Commerce Secretary John Bryson had been involved in a series of auto accidents in southern California on Saturday evening, and cited with a felony hit-and-run by responding police. This news was of course shocking.
For several hours, the White House and the Commerce Department declined comment. In this vacuum, the rumors took a life of their own. Some speculated there was alcohol involved, despite initial police accounts that this was not the case. After official statements reported seizures were the cause of the accidents, the ire turned on that initial speculation, blaming the sardonic culture of Twitter.
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But the entirety of blame did not lie with those on the social network. Nobody can deny that Twitter is not a forgiving place absent of (sometimes inappropriate) snark and vitriol, but it is also a venue for compassion, which is evidenced any time a notable figure passes away and the timeline becomes a place for remembrance and prayer. Some rightly issued apologies for inappropriate remarks, and the discussion largely fell silent.
Part of the blame surely lay at the feet of an inept White House communications operation, unable to provide the general public with any answers to the health and well-being of a cabinet secretary. This media stonewall continued in Press Secretary Jay Carney’s daily briefing.
In Carney’s first answer, we learned that President Obama had not spoken with Secretary Bryson. This seemed odd. A cabinet secretary is hospitalized following serious traffic incidents and a police citation and the president does not pick up the phone to check on his welfare?
Read More at heritage.org. By Rory Cooper.