As soon as our piece about far right activists trying to get comedians fired for old tweets went up yesterday, the official Paste Twitter account started seeing one specific Patton Oswalt tweet show up in its mentions again and again. It’s a tweet that, on the surface, seems flat-out racist, and thus especially damning. Here it is:
Looks bad, right? Which is why it’s one of the chief go-tos for the trolls pushing this hypocritical “gotcha” bullshit. Of course the entire thing collapses when you put that tweet under even the slightest bit of scrutiny. This is the second half of a two-part tweet that Oswalt custom-engineered to fool people in exactly this way. Here’s the full exchange that he wrote back in 2013, almost exactly five years ago how:
These tweets were written when Twitter’s character limit was still locked at 140. They were written before tweets could be threaded together. He was using the then-limitations of the medium to set up these stupid jokes that only appear offensive. And these aren’t the only two like this. Oswalt did an entire series of two-parters that look offensive if you only read the second half.
These tweets aren’t even that obscure, despite being five years old. It was pretty well publicized when Oswalt originally wrote these back in 2013. Vulture wrote a whole big thing about it at the time, and if you google “Patton Oswalt” and Twitter that piece was still on the first page of returns up until this latest non-controversy.
Oswalt’s tweets were written specifically to troll people, and five years later they’ve ensnared a bunch of trolls. The context is unmistakable, and anybody who uses them today to attack Oswalt is revealing either their ignorance or (more likely) how utterly full of shit they are. It’s pretty much all the proof you need that this far right campaign against anti-Trump comedians is purely about politics and petty grievances and not any kind of legitimate outrage or offense.