Tim Kelly on how he got fired by DHEC

Do y’all remember Tim Kelly, pioneer South Carolina blogger? He was one of a number of folks who gave me pointers back when I started this nasty habit in 2005. His blogs, in his case from a liberal Democrat’s point of view, included “Crack the Bell” and “Indigo Journal.”

He sort of quit blogging there for awhile and tried going legit. He worked at ADCO competitor Chernoff Newman for quite awhile, then became chief spokesman for DHEC. Which lasted until he posted this on Twitter a few weeks back.

As he says now, in a blog post:

Its not the worst thing ever said about Donald Trump. It’s not even the most profane thing I’ve ever said about Donald Trump.

Tim Kelly

Tim Kelly

But he said it on the official DHEC Twitter feed, thinking he was on his own account: “But, oops, wrong browser window, and I was toast.”

Yeah, I’ve done that myself. Just not with such, ah, explosive content. In fact, that’s why I recently purged my iPad Twitter app of a couple of client feeds I had been managing. I’d discovered that occasionally the app would just spontaneously flip over to one of those other accounts without my knowing it. Which is kind of scary.

But Tim’s experience far exceeds any cautionary tales I can share from my own experience.

Ironically, Tim was surprised again by Twitter — he had forgotten that his long-dormant blog was set to post the headline and a link to each post automatically.

I say “ironically” because Tim was the guy who originally taught me that was possible. In fact, he’s the guy who talked me into going on Twitter. When I asked him why on Earth I’d want to do that, he said, “To promote your blog.” And then he told me how, and I started doing it right away.

Anyway, Tim thinks he may be onto a new line of work that he will find more personally rewarding than what he’s done in the past, even if he doesn’t get rich doing it. I hope that’s the case…

7 thoughts on “Tim Kelly on how he got fired by DHEC

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    As I said, Tim’s a liberal Democrat. And reading this reminds me once again of what I said a few minutes ago to David Carlton… I just don’t see Trump, or our current national predicament, the way people on the left do, and I don’t express my views the way some of them do.

    This is why you see me quoting and citing people like Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, David Frum and Bill Kristol — and to a great extent David Brooks. They seem to see the problem almost exactly the way I do, and they express it the way I do.

    For instance, I saw this Tweet over the weekend from Kristol to strike just the right note:

    It’s similar to what conservative Bret Stephens wrote awhile back in explaining to his friends on the right why HE remains a NeverTrumper:

    In place of presidential addresses, stump speeches or town halls, we have Trump’s demagogic mass rallies. In place of the usual jousting between the administration and the press, we have a president who fantasizes on Twitter about physically assaulting CNN. In place of a president who defends the honor and integrity of his own officers and agencies, we have one who humiliates his attorney general, denigrates the F.B.I. and compares our intelligence agencies to the Gestapo.

    Trump is normalizing all this; he is, to borrow another Moynihan phrase, “defining deviancy down.” A president who supposedly wants to put a wall between the U.S. and Latin America has imported a style of politics reminiscent of the cults of Juan Perón and Hugo Chávez.

    Conservatives may suppose that they can pocket policy gains from a Trump administration while the stain of his person will eventually wash away. But as a (pro-Trump) friend wrote me the other day, “presidents empower cultures.” Trump is empowering a conservative political culture that celebrates everything that patriotic Americans should fear: the cult of strength, open disdain for truthfulness, violent contempt for the Fourth Estate, hostility toward high culture and other types of “elitism,” a penchant for conspiracy theories and, most dangerously, white-identity politics.

    This won’t end with Trump. It may have only begun with him. And Trump’s supporters may wind up proving both sides of Moynihan’s contention: not just that culture is what matters most, but that politics can still change it — in this case, much for the worse….

  2. Doug Ross

    “Its not the worst thing ever said about Donald Trump. It’s not even the most profane thing I’ve ever said about Donald Trump.”

    Well, considering the tweet that got him fired, I’d say he’s got some anger issues to deal with that go beyond Donald Trump.

  3. Karen Pearson

    While I concur with his opinion of Trump, I don’t see how DHEC could have ignored such a posting on it’s “official” Twitter feed. As a state employee such a posting on an official feed is unnacceptable. Both the language and the political statement are not acceptable on official state feeds. That’s just the way state employment rolls. Now, if he’d said that or worse on his own personal blog of twitter feed, no one would have blinked (unless he was running for president).

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Ya think? I don’t know. If I’m in charge of DHEC, I don’t know how I’d feel if my chief spokesman posted something like that under his own name. It’s just kind of, you know, not cool.

      I mean, I don’t have an employer who would mind, and everyone knows I’m all about political opinions, but I just don’t see myself posting that.

      I prefer to express my disdain in other ways, or at least with different, more specific, words…

  4. Claus2

    “But he said it on the official DHEC Twitter feed, thinking he was on his own account: “But, oops, wrong browser window, and I was toast.””

    And likely posting on his personal blog during work hours. Some employers frown on that.

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