Ashton Kutcher Under Fire for Uninformed Tweet About Joe Paterno

In less than 140 characters, the actor hit about 8.2 million nerves.

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REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Many have long been wondering just what it would take to get Ashton Kutcher to stop with all the tweeting already. Well, it seems like all it took was one instance of royally putting his Twit-foot in his Twit-mouth when sounding off about a college football team.

On Wednesday night, news that Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was being fired for allegedly turning a blind eye to the rape of a 10-year-old boy by his assistant coach Jerry Sandusky hit Twitter. Revelations about the crime (as well as similar abuses) had been coming out for days, and by the time Penn State’s board of trustees announced the firing, it wasn’t all that unexpected. But the news spread fast and furious, as tends to happen on Twitter. However, as people only have 140 characters to work with, not all of the tweets about the subject contained the full story — which also tends to happen on Twitter. Unfortunately for the woefully uninformed Kutcher, he only read the tail end of the story and responded accordingly tweeting, “How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.”

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Unsurprisingly, he was hit with a wave of replies as some of his 8.2 million followers quickly (and furiously) filled him in on the reason behind Paterno’s dismissal. Kutcher quickly deleted the offensive tweet and started apologizing. Perhaps he realized that his apologies weren’t likely to go over well with the horrific specifics of the case still fresh in everyone’s minds so, instead, he bowed out altogether. The last tweet he sent reads: “As of immediately I will stop tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed. I feel awful about this error. Won’t happen again.” Which is a relief. (Update: He later announced in a blog post that he would turn over management of his Twitter feed to his company, Katalyst Media.)

But, as far as NewsFeed’s concerned, continuing the backlash against Kutcher seems ridiculous. He’s already admitted his error and apologized. While he may have been wildly misinformed, he’s not directly involved with the case or college in any way. However, the same can’t be said for any of the administrators who’ve been charged or fired for sweeping the crime under the rug, nor for the Penn State students who started rioting in defense of Paterno, despite presumably having knowledge of the circumstances. Let’s direct some well-aimed anger that way.

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