Political rivals wage Twitter war over healthcare


A Twitter war broke out Wednesday between CNN’s liberal commentator Sally Kohn and conservative columnist Ben Shapiro.

The disagreement started over a picture of a protest sign that included an image of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) next to hand lettered words that read: “Troubled Wisconsin man goes on 50 state killing spree.” The sign is meant to imply that the GOP healthcare bill would harm people across the country, and the man in reference is House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Kohn retweeted an image of the sign, and captioned it: “This. #resist #NoAHCA.” AHCA stands for the American Health Care Act, a bill passed by Congress that replaces the Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

This. #resist #NoAHCA pic.twitter.com/UKvILpuMe9

Shapiro reminded Kohn about recent pleas, by people on both sides of the aisle, to dial back the rhetoric after a gunman opened fire at a GOP congressional baseball practice.

In fact, on June 18, Kohn herself asked for civility, and said the media needs to “think about people reading the things we write” during a stint on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”  She also said it was okay to have “heated conversations” without injuring or “dehumanizing” one another, and she said that included online content.

Shapiro may have been referencing those comments when he replied to her tweet, writing: “There’s that reasonable language we’ve been hearing so much about!”

Shapiro had Kohn’s attention, and the two went back and forth a bit. Kohn replied to Shapiro with: “Complains the guy who tweeted up the wazoo about “death panels”… Don’t compare some witty poster to your widespread deliberate smear.”

Shapiro hit back, questioning Kohn’s logic: “Terming government rationing boards “death panels” is worse than calling Ryan a spree killer? That’s just “clever”?

Kohn replied: “But I thought I was the language policing snowflake?!??”


Besides Shapiro, there were plenty of other Twitter users that disagreed with Kohn’s assertion that the image was harmless.

Under pressure, Kohn issued an apology, but seemed to feel insinuating that Ryan was a mass murderer was simply amusing. She called the poster “witty” and “clever.”


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