How Not To Email Constituents: The Brian Nieves Story
from the doing-it-wrong dept
The intersection of technology and politicians is often wrought with speed bumps of silliness. But to truly see a great example of how to do technology wrong, you need only look to Missouri State Senator Brian Nieves. The story begins with an email mailing list for Nieves, which Bart Cohn of Wildwood, MO somehow found himself on. Cohn's political views are described to be about as much at odds with Nieves' as is humanly possible. Upon seeing the email, Cohn responded by asking to be removed from the mailing list and throwing the word "freak" in for good measure. Nieves, who apparently has little else to do, then began a wonderfully aggressive email exchange, beginning with:
Who are you? Is there something wrong with you? Are you incapable of communicating in a way that common, decent people do? Tell me this, how did you ever even get on MY Distribution list?Cohn responded by again asking to be removed. The exchange went on from there. You really should click the link to get the whole thing, but the best of the lot is the last of the exchange, in which Nieves takes the opportunity to affirm his heterosexuality (um...) and insulting Cohn's intelligence.
Wow. Your communications are so thought provoking, well written, and intelligent. Perhaps you secretly want to be on my distribution list because every time you send me a message, your email is recaptured and put on my distribution list. I'm tiring of taking you off every time you email me AGAIN so unless you are in love with me or have some other sort of sick obsession with me (sorry, I'm straight as an arrow) you should probably stop emailing me so that you don't keep getting put back on the list. Should I type these instructions slower? Are you having a hard time understanding? BTW - I archive ALL questionable emails like yours in case there's ever any doubt about who got ugly first. Go back to the grade school playground where people you can successfully bully and out smart are playing cuz junior... You are way out of your league with me.This, ladies and gentlemen, is an elected official in public office talking to one of his constituents. And thanks to the internet, those words he chose to email will live on in perpetuity. So be careful who you elect to office, because they might just be a jerk.