People in the Spokane area who still haven’t started using Twitter yet are missing out on a wide variety of ways to connect with people, follow professional sports, apply for jobs and communicate with loved ones. They are also missing out on crazy flame wars that make message boards seem like havens for excessively polite, highly cultured college professors by comparison.
Blake Shelton, the country singer many people from Spokane know as one of the judges on “The Voice”, has a knack for getting himself into trouble on Twitter. On Friday, July 27 he accidentally started a flame war after posting a joke that many people found to be in bad taste.
According to a Huffington Post article published on Monday, July 30, Shelton wrote, “Does anyone know if the Eastern Box turtle is protected in Oklahoma? If so I didn’t just swerve to the shoulder of the road to smash one…”
Many people didn’t realize that the tweet was an example of dry humor and took the country singer literally. Several Twitter users took Shelton to task for deliberately killing an endangered animal.
According to Hilton Hater of The Hollywood Gossip, “NPR blogger Barbara J. King quickly responded in shock, asking the country music superstar: ‘That turtle’s life meant something- was your tweet a bad joke? Why would you be so cruel to a living being?'”
Shelton told King to shut up and everything spiraled out of control from there over the next three days.
According to The Huffington Post, “After that remark, Shelton was inundated with angry tweets, most of which he flippantly responded to, but later he responded with increasing hostility to a user named @turtlefeed, who was repeatedly tweeting about Shelton’s perceived apathy toward animal life.
“Sheton wrote: ‘Hey @turtlefeed. Before u make an even bigger dip**** of urself you should research on how much money I have raised to feed homeless animals,” adding, “Hey @turtlefeed.. I solely have raised over a million dollars in animal rescue/conservation alone… How much have you raised? Oh. Ok. Next!'”
On Saturday, July 28, Shelton offered an apology that should have been the end of the fiasco.
Shelton tweeted, “Ok… Now that ‘Turtle-Gate’ is over I want to apologize for my ignorant joke… I never ran over a turtle. It wasn’t even possible.”
In an earlier tweet, Shelton said he was actually in North Dakota when he wrote the tweet that got him in trouble. Apparently, no turtles were in his immediate vicinity.
Unfortunately, the Twitter war may not be over yet. On Monday afternoon, Shelton made a few more turtle jokes. At about 3:30 p.m., Shelton couldn’t resist the urge to tweet about the Huffington Post article.
Approximately an hour later, Shelton tweeted, “Can you imagine what this world would be like if people spent this much time worrying about people. I assure you NO turtles heard my joke..”
Shelton may have to apologize again.