Harris Tweet

No, that’s not a misprint. We don’t intend to talk about sports coats. Today we report on the dangers of what some think is injudicious use of Twitter. It is not often that a twitter, a tweet, a twit–whatever–triggers a response like the one that lit a fire under Senator Kevin Engler of Farmington late last night.

The senate had been locked in discussion about a revising the workers’ compensation law. Engler objects to a big chunk of the bill. As he repeatedly outlined his opposition, Engler repeatedly told of one of his clients back home who had worked in a popcorn factory and who claimed she had come down with a crippling lung ailment because of her exposure to a chemical used to make microwave popcorn taste buttery. She had received workers’ compensation for the two years before her damage suit went to trial.

She won $300,000 in a damage judgment against the company. Her lawyer got a third and then the company, says Engler, sued the woman to recover the workers’ comp payments it had made to her before the trial.

AUDIO

While Engler was telling and re-telling that story to other senators a political consultant named James Harris made what Engler took to be disparaging remarks. Engler has run across Harris before and so has Senator Brian Nieves of Franklin County. Neither was particularly impressed by the Harris Twits.

Long ago we kind of adopted the idea that, “If you can’t say it to my face, you haven’t earned the right to say it behind my back.” That seems to work most of the time. It’s an unwritten Missourinet twitpolicy.

In the old days people were admonished to “Mind your tongue.” In today’s world maybe it should be “Mind your fingers. All of them.”

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