Don’t Bash The First Daughters – Another Lesson in Not Being Dumb On Social Media

Jason Pankow Culture, HR, in the news, Jason Pankow, Personal Brand, politics, Pop Culture, Social Media

If you’re reading this, I can assume a few things:

  1. You are super smart.
  2. You are very good looking.
  3. You are active in the social world.

This is likely not the first time you have seen this argument.  And, I promise you it will not be the last.  Social media is here to stay.  And even those who try their darndest to stay off the grid say things that another person might throw back onto it.

So, once again, ladies and gentlemen… say it with me: “I will not be stupid on social media.”

In case you missed it, the poor judgement of the day I am referring to occurred during the annual pointless PR exercise that is the Presidential pardon of a turkey.  It looked very much like your average turkey pardoning.  President Obama is standing there, surrounded by hundreds of press who obviously pissed off their bosses, saying something that sounded an awful lot like “blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda.”  Approximately 15 Americans were watching this hallowed event.  And, behold, standing behind the president were the First Daughters, Sasha and Malia.

Now, upon initial glance, the First Daughters looked like, well… like they usually do, in my humble opinion.  I suspect that if I had been watching this event live (which I wasn’t—does anyone not paid to do so watch the turkey pardoning live?), I would not have thought anything of it.  However, they were brought to my attention by a news article.  Apparently, some random staffer for a GOP Senator had an opinion on how they girls carried themselves.  This is what she had to say:

“Dear Sasha and Malia—I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, so try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department. Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised public events.”

Well as you can guess, this didn’t go over too well.  See, a smart person would know that there are certain topics that are off limits. Even in politics, where it’s status quo to play dirty… you don’t go after a politician’s children. Ever.

Now, apparently, this is where people get confused. Because, this was just a random staffer and it’s no longer election season. It’s not like when Mitt Romney went after John McCain’s adopted daughter.  Or even like when the Daily Kos implied that Sarah Palin’s son was actually her grandson.  Therefore, maybe said random staffer person thought it would be ok.

Alas, not so much.  Not only did the media blow up with stories about this woman and her dissing of the First Daughters, but she has since been outed by The Smoking Gun  for being arrested when she herself was a teenager.  All because a previously unknown person thought it would be funny to say something stupid on social media.

Don’t let it happen to you!  Don’t be stupid on social media. If you do, you too could end up unemployed with everyone knowing you were a teenage shoplifter!