A couple months ago, we discussed the uproar in New York over people posting smiling selfies at the site of the deadly East Village fire. Many people were appalled by the insensitivity and part of the backlash was directed at Christina Freundlich, who worked at the Iowa Democratic Party. While some would suggest that a penchant for disaster scenes is not exactly a good omen for the upcoming elections, Freundlich has now been hired to be the face of the Democratic National Committee. As DNC spokespersons, we will be commenting on Republican excesses and mistakes.
The last the public saw of Freundlich was her smiling and given the peace sign in front of a scene where two people died and over two dozen people were injured. Her first press release as “DNC spokesperson” blasted Jeb Bush for a posting on President Obama’s economic policies.
We have been discussing how social media postings are haunting people who are seeking new jobs. This is an interesting situation where the posting showed incredibly poor taste and judgment on social media but was not a barrier for someone who will be working in social media in a high-visibility position. However, after the hoopla, Freundlich apologized profusely and said that she was “deeply sorry for my careless and distasteful post” and “What happened last week in the East Village is not to be taken lightly and I regret my course of action.”
Many have said that that is not enough and that Freundlich should not be put into a position as a spokesperson. Yet, it was two stupid acts (taking the selfie and then posting it) down presumably in an impulsive and thoughtless moment. Should a person be barred for life from a political position due to one incident of this kind? She was not celebrating the deaths. Selfies have become an addiction for some people. They go on autopilot in rushing every image to social media. This seems to be such a case.
What do you think?