Monday, March 27, 2017

Scott Vetter and "Tweetgate"

What does it take for Drew “Mad Again” Madigan to come out of retirement?

Scott Vetter and the Northwest Herald.

I have blogged about the Northwest Herald’s stellar reporting before, and man, they keep getting better with age.

For those of you who have not been following the news, or have been out of the country, or live in a cave, Scott Vetter is Crystal Lake resident running for a spot on the District 155 School Board.  He has been involved a bit in McHenry County Republican politics for a few years.

One thing is for sure: He likes to tweet.  And last year, he tweeted a lot. Here is an example of a gem of a tweet that has been enshrined for posterity in the Google cache system:

A“campaign” video has been created to highlight those tweets.

Of course, Scott Vetter claims that he had been hacked. That’s the go-to for politicians today to try and cover up obnoxious behavior online.

“I didn’t call that guy a ‘fucking idiot.’ I was hacked!” See how easy that is? 

The problem is that Scott Vetter’s explanation just doesn’t make sense. 

Let’s take a look:

1) In a Facebook post, he claims that he hadn’t used that twitter account in “two years.” However, the account was for his position as Algonquin Precinct 36 committeeman. He didn’t get that position until April of 2016, when he wrote an email to McHenry County blog, identifying himself as the "newly elected Precinct 36 Committeemen in Algonquin Township."

2) In another post, he claims that the account was shut down over a year ago, but the account didn’t exist before June 2016, as is shown in the cached screen images. There is no record at all of an account existing before this date. And why would it? Vetter wasn’t the committee chairman long before that time.

3) Then, in the same post, he says that he closed the account in September, which is way less than a year ago. And the tweets in question come before that date. Confused? Yeah, it’s like an episode of Lost. It just doesn’t make sense.

3) Later, he admitted in the Facebook post that some of his tweets were his but were used, apparently, by the hackers and were “taken out of context.” 

But wait, you're saying in your head right now: Didn't he say that he hadn't used the account in two years?  

Yes, he did. But, apparently, we shouldn't take his word. Just the kind of guy you want on a school board, right?

So this became an issue in the race when those tweets surfaced online. And videos like this were made:

So Scott Vetter was caught with his tweets down. Literally.

And in comes the Northwest Herald. They must have put their best journalist on the case because they went right to the source.

Reporter: “Hey, Scott Vetter? How about those tweets?”

Scott Vetter: “I was hacked. Those weren’t mine.”

Reporter: “Cool. Can I quote you?”

Scott Vetter: “Sure.”

So the Northwest Herald reporter—we’ll call him Nate Linhart, because that’s his name—wrote a story that simply allowed Scott Vetter to repeat the same claims he has made over the last few days on Facebook.

I guess fact-checking is not something done by the Northwest Herald.

Or maybe they don’t have access to Google, I am not sure.

A quick glance of the cached images would show that the Twitter account in question was created in June of 2016.

A quick Google search would show that Scott Vetter was elected precinct chairman in April 2016, not 2015 as he claimed in the article.

This was the best part of the article, though:

Vetter said some of those tweets that were on the screenshots were from him, but not ones that used profanity or discriminatory remarks.

That’s Vetter saying, “Yeah, some of those tweets were mine. But only the good ones. The ones that people don’t like, those aren’t mine. Unless you like those, then maybe.”

If a journalist was really doing his job, he would notice that many of those tweets with the profanity that Scott Vetter claims to not have used are in the same Twitter conversations as the ones he takes credit for.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out: they were tweeted by the same person! And that person, admittedly, was Scott Vetter. At least for the ones that people aren’t upset about.

Again, some of these inconsistencies could have been checked out by simply typing a few words into Google.

I know, the Northwest Herald has a lot on their plate; more important things like “Spring Grove church hosting special service with Congressman Joe Walsh.”

That should tell you all you need to know. And newsflash: Joe Walsh is no longer a Congressman.

I bet Scott Vetter will be there because Scott Vetter really likes Joe Walsh. In fact, a lot of Scott Vetter’s tweeting was in response to something Joe Walsh tweeted or in defense of Joe Walsh. But most of the time, Scott Vetter simply retweeted Joe Walsh tweets.  

And this is the guy that Donna Kurtz, Raphael Kamner and John Pletz have decided to run with?

And what have they publicly stated about their running mate and “Tweetgate?” 

I'll give you a hint: It sounds something like crickets:

---more later.

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