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Arizona congressman posts videos reading ‘mean’ comments from Twitter

In this Dec. 2013, file photo, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., speaks during a Congressional Field Hearing on the Affordable Care Act in Apache Junction, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman has posted a series of “mean comment” videos on his Twitter account, drawing both praise and criticism from his constituents.

Rep. Paul Gosar, the U.S. representative for Arizona’s fourth congressional district, posted two videos on his Twitter account, @RepGosar, where members of his staff read tweets from other Twitter users.

The first video was posted on Tuesday, with the caption: “Today with #TeamGosar: my staff takes a look at my Twitter mentions.”

“You need to be nicer to your constituents, Paul,” reads one comment. “Despicable and gross and tone-deaf, do better, dude,” reads another.

“You live in a house of lies — lies, I say!” reads another. And one of the last comments read, “[Gosar] clearly sucks on Novocaine when no one is looking.”

A second video was posted on Wednesday, which features Gosar reading comments of derogatory remarks.

“Let’s make sure Faith loses the job she so loves,” read one of the comments directed to Gosar’s Press Secretary Faith Vander Voort. Another tweet directed toward Voort was almost entirely bleeped out.

The segments were seemingly inspired by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel’s famed “Mean Tweets” series, where everyone from celebrities to sports stars to YouTube creators read tweets directed toward them.

But not all of Gosar’s constituents are laughing: “While mocking your constituents is tacky, it just helps with your retirement,” read one response to the video. “Are you only going to read the ones that make the case for being picked on or the ones that raise valid issues as well?” read another.

Gosar’s history with social media

Gosar has a long history of interacting with constituents online. In June, Army veteran J’aime Morgaine started a campaign after Gosar blocked her on his public Facebook account, arguing that she has a right to participate in the “democratic process.”

In a post on Facebook responding to constituents who said the congressman effectively restricted their ability to access him by blocking their social media accounts, Gosar said simply that it is his right.

“If you think a block on Facebook is infringing upon your constitutional right to petition the government, you are sorely mistaken,” part of the post read.

“You want to petition the government? Terrific. Call my office and file a complaint. Write me a letter spelling out your grievances. My staff does a terrific job of addressing these issues and briefing me on your messages,” the post continued.

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