@TheGussReport – Most politicians have two sets of social media accounts consisting of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for their official use and another set for their personal use.
One thing you rarely see is the politician locking his or her personal accounts for the exclusive use of their family and friends, i.e. for their personal use. Politicians leave them open to let the public know what really think without creating an official communication of the government they represent. (Photo above: Los Angeles council members Nury Martinez and Mike Bonin.)
But some politicians recklessly and dangerously blur the lines between their official and personal accounts by using their elected job title and government logo in their personal social media posts, which misleadingly infers that what they post there is an official position of the government to which they are elected, despite disclaimers that it is a personal account.
For example, LA City Council’s Mike Bonin regularly invokes his official title, “Councilmember, 11th District” on his personal social media posts.
A few days ago, Bonin boldly asserted his solidarity with the violent overtaking of cities like Portland and Seattle, citing his 1st Amendment right in posting in his personal social media a meme that says “Fuck the Federal Police” adjacent to posts in which Bonin uses his official elected job title, implying that the government of the City of Los Angeles endorses that sentiment.
Bonin certainly has a 1st Amendment right. But he is mistaken in believing that he can say anything he wants, whether it is encouraging violence or destruction of property in the same way that he cannot scream “fire” in a crowded theater where there is no such danger.
I reached out to Bonin to find out what “federal police” agency his meme refers to and what does he mean by “fucking” it. It is tough to imagine it means anything other than violence like what has recently happened to police officers around the U.S., including their being murdered or having lasers pointed at their eyes to permanently blind them or cutting police vehicle brake lines, hurling bricks or Molotov cocktails at them wherever they may be, which would include when they are off-duty and with their families.
No response from Bonin or his cc’d staffers. Certainly, if the above is a misunderstanding of the meme’s intent, he or his cc’d staffers would have said “of course Mike Bonin doesn’t endorse violence or the destruction of property.”
Except the meme he posted on his personal social media account endorses exactly that.
There was also silence about Bonin’s extracurricular expressions from LA City Council president Nury Martinez, who oversees Bonin’s Committee assignments, as well as LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, who laughingly sees himself as Garcetti’s successor.
Note: these are the same officials who spend a bundle of tax dollars to silence critics who drop f-bombs and at City Council meetings and are quick to file temporary restraining order requests at the first hint of aggression against themselves.
What’s more disturbing is the silence from the LAPD and by its prosecutorial peers who have also been targeted for violence in recent weeks.
Have they been so beaten into submission in recent months that they no longer have the courage to call out elected officials who endorse violence against them and their families? With a violent election season well-underway, which includes the balance of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Supreme Court, just how soon do you think it’ll be before that happens here in LA?
That’ll be when Garcetti, Martinez and Feuer put on their faux solemn face and say their “thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families.”
Just a few months ago, these same politicians approved huge raises for the LAPD. One reasonably assumes it’s because they felt the raises were deserved…..and because politicians always crave the stamp of approval of law enforcement unions.
But that was before the wind blew in a different direction.
It seems that LA politicians have a one-word warning to cops here and everywhere else: “DUCK!”
(Daniel Guss, MBA, is nominated for a 2020 Los Angeles Press Club journalism award for Best Political Commentary, and has contributed to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, iHeartMedia, 790-KABC, Cumulus Media, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Pasadena Star News, Los Angeles Downtown News, and the Los Angeles Times in its Sports, Opinion and Entertainment sections and Sunday Magazine, among other publishers. Follow him on Twitter @TheGussReport. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.)