Internet upset that Ken Bone is not a saint

Technically Incorrect: It seemed inevitable that the red-sweatered hero of a week ago would have his image examined. And now he's less of a hero.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

From uberfamous to uberscrutinized.


We're desperate.

There's so much that needs fixing in our world that we're quick to anoint a hero when we see one. Or when we think we see one.

Because we're neurotic, fickle beings, we're just as quick to decide that those new heroes are just as deplorable as everyone else. All it takes is for us to get to know them a little.

And so it is with Ken Bone.

Less than a week ago, the man in the red sweater asked a question about energy and the environment during the second presidential debate.

Within hours he was deified. I'm not sure why. Perhaps the web thought he represented a certain cuddliness, a warm coal fire to combat the freezing hate of the election.

Instead of shunning the publicity, Bone embraced it. He even agreed to a Reddit AMA. Which may not have been the wisest move.

He wasn't new to Reddit and he logged on using his existing username, StanGibson18.

Naturally, web residents investigated him. They discovered untoward comments about Jennifer Lawrence's stolen nude pictures and about pregnant women. He had also used the word "justified" to describe the killing of Trayvon Martin. (He clarified his comments on Twitter, where he now has almost 250,000 followers.)

And so the web decided it was justified to condemn Bone. It felt especially free to do so after he accepted some benefits from Uber.

He had sold out. That's even worse than saying something questionable on the internet.

Soon, everyone had a bone to pick with him.

Soon, Ebay had pulled a heroic ad featuring Bone.

Soon, HBO's Bill Maher was calling him a representative of the "Comfortably Dumb." Not so much because he was famous, but because he still claimed to be an undecided voter.

Bone didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. What, though, might his second week of fame bring?

Currently he seems sanguine enough on Twitter. On Saturday, he tweeted: "I want to thank all the folks both online and in person that reached out to encourage me yesterday. Haters gonna hate, #likersgonnalike."

This was followed by a simple message: "Remember, the most important part of this process is to be heard."

Fame can make people believe that every word of theirs should be heard. Some even believe it's all they need to run for president.

The real Ken Bone will likely emerge when his fame has subsided. And then no one will care.