We live in a period where an errant tweet with an impolitic or inappropriate message, no matter how old, can cost you everything. Yes, you may have been young and callow when you said it, but you’ve grown — so it’s OK, right? Nope. Once it’s unearthed, you’re done.
Well, check that. If you’re a conservative or conservative-adjacent, that’s the case. If you’re a liberal like Sara Pearl, who not too long ago retweeted a meme saying police are worse than pigs, things are likely to be a bit different.
Pearl is a staffer for former Vice President Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign whose social media activity has garnered a bit of attention in recent days. She’s not quite high or low on the totem pole, being a senior video producer. However, a series of her deleted tweets have put the Biden campaign in an awkward position.
According to Fox News, the problems began on June 1, when Pearl tweeted “#DefundPolice.” A few days later, she tweeted that the Buffalo police “need to be held accountable!!!!” Another tweet reported by Fox News, now apparently deleted, said that the Buffalo police needed to be “defunded immediately.”
While she wasn’t yet under the employ of the Biden campaign at the time, Biden has specifically said he wouldn’t take any actions to defund police.
The Buffalo Police Department need to be held accountable!!!!
— Sara Pearl (@skenigsberg) June 5, 2020
On July 1, Pearl announced she’d started with the Biden campaign; she’d previously been with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ camp during his primary run, so the lateral move wasn’t much of a surprise.
Job update! Today is my first day working for the @JoeBiden campaign as supervising producer. I’m grateful to have worked for @BernieSanders during and after his primary campaign. Excited to join #TeamJoe, produce some great videos, and help get him elected our next president.
— Sara Pearl (@skenigsberg) July 1, 2020
What was a surprise is that the Biden campaign either didn’t do a terribly good job of searching Pearl’s social media history or simply didn’t care about what it contained:
Biden campaign staffer mocked cops as worse than ‘pigs,’ called for defunding police. The videographer, Sara Pearl, also retweeted a user’s comment that while “pigs are sweet, intelligent and compassionate,” police officers are “monsters” who “don’t deserve to be called pigs.” pic.twitter.com/llF9DH3NC0
— Maggie Hay (@marjori71098351) July 17, 2020
“Please stop calling cops ‘pigs’… Pigs are highly intelligent and empathetic animals who would never racially profile you,” the meme read.
Now, to be fair, this was a meme Pearl retweeted in her youth. She was, um, a month-and-a-half younger than she is now when she posted this on June 1. June always feels like a long month, even though it has just 30 days. There’s a lot of room for growth.
Pearl has made some other questionable decisions on social media, according to Fox. After a 2016 sniper attack at a Dallas protest that killed five police officers, the network reported, Pearl dinged the National Rifle Association for offering condolences to the families of the slain officers: “Of course they respond to the officers but not to the previous shootings :(“
She also seems to have a bit of an obsession with all things porcine, it turns out. According to the Fox report, Pearl was a bit put off by those who called President Donald Trump a pig, saying it was an “insult to pigs!!!!” She’s also tweeted that “All I want in life is a dog and a pig !!!!!!!!”
And then there was this:
— Sara Pearl (@skenigsberg) March 19, 2019
(I hear the pig bungled the king pigeon pose and ended up with a ruptured tendon — and Pearl still has a job. There’s simply no accountability on the left.)
So Pearl was quickly out of a job with the Biden campaign, right? Not yet, anyway.
It’s been three days since the first report and she’s still (sorry, I have to) bringing home the bacon. Neither the Biden campaign nor Pearl responded to Fox News when reached for comment; the Biden campaign acknowledged it’d received the request and Pearl deleted the offending tweets after she was contacted by Fox.
(Not the pig yoga tweet, thank heavens, because that thing should go into the Smithsonian right next to a fossilized piece of avocado toast as part of the exhibit explaining where it all went wrong for millennials.)
The Trump campaign and its surrogates, meanwhile, seized upon Pearl’s anti-police tweets.
In a statement addressing “anti-police culture in Joe Biden’s campaign,” the Trump campaign noted that Pearl had “mocked cops as worse than ‘pigs,’ [and] called for defunding police.”
“At a time when police officers are under increasingly violent attack, Joe Biden has allowed a sickening anti-police culture to pervade his campaign. He sits silently and says nothing as police are viciously assaulted by left-wing mobs,” Trump campaign adviser Bob Paduchik said in the statement, noting that “Biden employs a staffer who uses the most vile, inflammatory, and incendiary language to target the brave men and women who risk their own lives to keep us safe.”
“How can Joe Biden look in the faces of grieving law enforcement families whose loved ones died in the line of duty?” Paduchik asked in the statement. “Never in history has a major party campaign so angrily fanned the flames of hatred against our nation’s heroes.”
Richard Grenell, the former acting director of national intelligence for the administration, also criticized the decision to keep Pearl on staff:
Joe Biden can’t stand up to his supporters or staff who are calling to Defund the Police. Scary!
The Biden campaign didn’t respond to when given the chance.
Why wouldn’t the Biden campaign immediately say “of course we don’t support this!”??!https://t.co/BNP2BYO54G
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) July 17, 2020
The key part of this is the lack of response from the Biden campaign. Sara Pearl is good at her job, I’m sure, but it’s doubtful she’s irreplaceable.
The Trump campaign has made it clear law and order is going to be a major theme of the president’s campaign. Once Americans start tiring of violent protests that have long since ceased to have anything to do with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor or Rayshard Brooks — and if history is any guide, they’ll tire of them before November — this is just more rubbish on top of a pile of law and order problems for Biden.
As for Pearl, isn’t this just canceling someone for a social media slip-up, the same way liberals are fond of doing to conservatives? Perhaps, but considering that support for police is a major issue in the presidential campaign, and these tweets are less than two months old, it’s a legitimate look at the kind of workers the Biden campaign is taking on.
This is someone with a consistent view of the worth of police that didn’t just change the moment she abandoned a wild-haired Clarence Darrow impersonator for a hair-plugged centrist who’s sewn up the delegates needed to become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.
She didn’t just discover law enforcement weren’t that bad in the intervening month since the offending post. She merely discovered that discretion is the better part of meme-retweeting. Congratulations, I guess.
The point here is bigger than a Biden staffer, though.
The point is that the campaign of the man who’s hoping to unseat the president of the United States clearly has a home for individuals who hold American police officers in utter contempt.
And it’s unlikely she’s the only one.
Voters need to remember this as the campaigns move ahead — and especially when November rolls around.
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