Some tweets are better kept to yourself, as John Ivison recently learned to his cost.
The National Post’s in-house Scotsman took a break from his busy schedule arse-creeping the Tories last week to give Justin Trudeau the bird.
The occasion was Trudeau’s announcement that he and wife Sophie Gregoire were the happy parents of a baby boy, named Hadrian.
That prompted Ivison to weigh in with this deep thought:
John Ivison @IvisonJ Feb 28
Fun facts: Emperor Hadrian built a wall to keep out the Scots and was a noted persecutor of the Jews.
The Post expanded on Ivison’s baby-bashing with an un-bylined follow-up:
“[Hadrian] is reviled among the Jewish community. During the Third Jewish War, he crushed a Jewish uprising using almost genocidal force, killing upwards of 500,000 and destroying almost 1,000 villages. The Talmud follows his name with the curse ‘Crush his bones.’
“Ruling an empire that comprised much of Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East, Hadrian was also one of the first emperors to openly display his homosexuality. His gay lover, Antinous, accompanied him on his trips round the empire and when he died young in a swimming accident, Hadrian named a city after him in Egypt.”
Later that day, after their Comments section exploded, the Post was in full retreat:
In the rewrite, Hadrian went from being “reviled” among the Jewish community to, “there is no written record of Hadrian’s thoughts on Judaism, and what is known is inferred from military actions, but it has lent a sinister air to the man who is otherwise known as one of the ‘good’ emperors of the first two centuries of the common era – compared with such maniacal monsters as Nero.
“It was Titus who captured Jerusalem and left it in ruins, Domitian and Nerva who outlawed circumcision. Trajan quashed an earlier uprising of the oppressed people of Judaea, and the new emperor Hadrian had, in the words of a biographer, “won a reputation for being sympathetic to the Jewish cause when he acted as a disinterested arbiter in disputes between Alexandrian Jews and Greeks.”
Meanwhile, Ivison was being strafed from all directions (“Congrats to John Ivison on winning the 2014 Ezra Levant Slimiest Comment Award,” tweeted one detractor.)
The semi-chastened hack beat a hasty re-tweet: “It goes without saying that all of us in the Press Gallery sent our congrats to the new parents. And to Hadrian – lang may yer lum reek.”
What a twally!