GOP activist uses Facebook to compare first lady to gorilla

Rusty DePass, a South Carolina Republican, reportedly removes his Facebook page after making a "joke" on it comparing first lady Michelle Obama to a gorilla.

Jokes are funny things.

Sometimes the same joke works with one person and falls flat with another. Sometimes, though, the joke just isn't funny at all.

That can be forgotten when it's made in the company of friends over a gin, a tonic, and a country club bar.

Perhaps, though, it is less easily forgotten when it is made on Facebook. What is said on Facebook stays on Facebook. Often for quite some time.

You see, according to a report by WIS10 TV in Columbia, S.C., Rusty DePass, a prominent Republican Party activist, happened to see a Facebook post by an aide to state Attorney General Henry McMaster.

The post described an escape by a gorilla on Friday from the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia.

DePass, once a state Senate candidate, responded to the post with these words: "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless."

First lady Michelle Obama CC Mike Baird/Flickr

The TV station reported that it had received confirmation from DePass that he had, indeed, been speaking of the first lady, Michelle Obama.

One might have thought that, having written these words, he might have attempted to make a swift correction. However, it appears to have taken a blogger, Will Folks, to obtain a screen capture of the comment for an apology to be forthcoming.

Once his FITSNews.com site raised the issue, it was taken up by other media outlets.

Only then did DePass issue an apology: "I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."

There's jest. And then there's clear jest.

Columbia Mayor Bob Coble appears to have seen no clear jest at all. He told WIS10: "You know, I think the comment is inappropriate. It's a racist comment."

DePass also reportedly suggested that it was the first lady who initially made the comment about everyone being descended from apes. However, media organizations have tried to find these comments, without--at the time of writing--any success.

WIS10 said that DePass' comment had been removed from Facebook, as had his Facebook page.

There is, as far as I am aware, no reason to believe that DePass attempted, in the vanity URL race on Saturday, to bag Facebook.com/socialmediahalfwit.

 

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