brock turner rnc

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No, Brock Turner is not speaking at the RNC

A comedian tried to make a joke. She ended up spreading misinformation.


Eilish O'Sullivan


Published Aug 18, 2020   Updated Aug 18, 2020, 5:50 pm CDT

A comedian tried to make a joke about convicted sex offender Brock Turner speaking at the Republican National Convention (RNC), but she only ended up getting flamed and spreading misinformation.

Jena Friedman, best known for her work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Late Show with David Letterman, tweeted early Tuesday morning that Turner is slated to speak at the RNC.

“BREAKING NEWS: Brock Turner, Stanford Student Athlete Who Assaulted Unconscious Woman, Will Speak At RNC,” she wrote.

Jena Friedman brock turner rnc

Turner was convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault, including intent to commit rape of an unconscious woman in 2015. Turner, according to CNN, spent three months in jail—half of his six-month sentence.

Because of the RNC’s speaker lineup—which includes the St. Louis gun-touting “Ken and Karen” couple and Covington graduate Nicholas Sandmann—some actually believed the claim.

It wasn’t long until “Brock Turner” became a trending topic.

Some users got in on Friedman’s joke, while others denounced it. “Fuck that viral joke tweet about Brock Turner speaking at the RNC. Don’t make jokes about someone’s rapist. It’s gross. You’re not being clever, you’re spreading misinformation at the expense of survivors,” writer Ella Dawson tweeted.

Eventually, Friedman had to clarify that she was joking. “I don’t want to get kicked off twitter for other people not understanding satire,” she wrote in a follow-up.

This isn’t the first time Friedman has spread misinformation while trying to crack jokes on Twitter. In April, she tweeted that White House adviser Stephen Miller tested positive for COVID-19. In May, she tweeted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tested positive. She also used the “BREAKING NEWS” format to frame those tweets, and they were similarly poorly received.

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*First Published: Aug 18, 2020, 5:27 pm CDT