If you’re going to be any sort of political commentator who’s going to call out others, especially someone who’s well-known, you better make pretty darn certain you know what you’re talking about. Especially if you’re going to attempt to criticize someone like renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Well, pro-Trump conservative radio host and columnist Neal Larson apparently didn’t get that memo.
Just over a week ago, Larson tried making a big deal out of Tyson using simple math when discussing the Olympics and how Hungary was actually “kicking our ass” in gold medals once you adjust for the difference in overall population size between the two nations. If you follow Tyson on Twitter, he posts stuff like that quite often. He wasn’t trying to be “anti-American” he was just mixing some fairly basic math with a little sarcasm.
No harm no foul, right?
Apparently not if you’re Mr. Larson, who accused Tyson of mocking a 12-year-old girl who said she wanted to live on Jupiter:
I’ve listened to Neil deGrasse Tyson before. And what I observe is a smart guy who consistently enjoys asserting his intellectual supremacy over others more than he actually likes educating. In one of his worse moments, Tyson mocked a 12-year-old girl who suggested she’d like to live on Jupiter. He ridiculed her in the midst of a crowd, then later, several times, on Twitter. That told me everything I needed to know about Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Sadly for Neal Larson, that never happened. What Larson did was mistake a story from the satire site Clickhole as a legitimate “news article.”
Larson’s incompetence then prompted Tyson to write a rather scathing takedown of the conservative radio host and columnist, humiliating him to such an extent that he quit writing.
Here’s what Mr. Larson wrote after Tyson dismantled his idiocy:
What transpired in the 48 hours after Dr. Tyson’s impressive and methodical destruction of my column, was nothing less than surreal. As near as I can tell, Idaho AP political reporter Kimberlee Kruesi first tweeted about Tyson’s takedown. It was then picked up by the Idaho Statesman. Before long, the Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Raw Story, Dead State, and a host of similar national sites had picked it up rapidly, all bearing a similar headline, that the beloved astrophysicist had destroyed a conservative radio talk show host and columnist.
If the Internet’s intention in response to my stumbles was to reciprocate harm, it worked. In the same way that it’s no fun to be called a horse’s astrophysicist, it was a nightmare receiving scores of Tweets calling me a “F—-ing moron!” or informing me that I’m a warm container of semen, that I should drink poison, or that it’s a shame I “spawned” five children. After a while, I simply had to stop paying attention — deleting dozens of emails, changing privacy settings on my social media profiles, and turning off my Twitter notifications. For those in the national spotlight, this is probably old hat, but I wasn’t equipped to handle the influx, logistically or emotionally. If anyone had sent a kind word or more gentle and constructive criticism, I apologize because I probably missed it in the onslaught of hate.
After reading that, I almost felt sorry for him — until I read a few things he had written prior to quitting writing. From accusing progressives of creating a “hellhole of oppression,” to saying that the LGBT community wants “supremacy” instead of equality, Larson is clearly not someone who deserves a great deal of sympathy. While I don’t condone personal attacks such as telling him he should drink poison, or bringing his children into the situation, you can’t be an egotistical blowhard who’s trying to make a name for yourself by bashing others if you can’t handle the backlash caused by your own words and actions.
Maybe if there’s a lesson for Neal Larson to learn from this, it’s that he should not only be careful who he goes after, but that he might want to taper his own criticisms of others considering he didn’t seem to enjoy when others expressed their opinions about him.
Latest posts by Allen Clifton (see all)
- Rick Wilson Excoriates Trump Supporter: ‘Don’t You Dare Talk About Respect’ (Video) - March 17, 2018
- Everything Facebook’s Doing to Combat Fake News is Only Making the Problem Worse - March 16, 2018
- Fox News’ The Five Advocates Committing War Crimes, Denies Waterboarding is Torture (Video) - March 15, 2018