Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal is an internet troll when he’s not running the state’s schools. Under the pseudonyms ‘Falcon9′ and ‘Thucydides’ Huppenthal engaged in online debates writing such musings as welfare recipients are “lazy pigs” and “we all need to stomp out balkanization. No spanish radio stations, no spanish billboards, no spanish tv stations, no spanish newspapers. This is America, speak English.”
There’s nothing illegal about what he did. Huppenthal has every right to write, say and even believe the things he wrote. Some who read this may even agree with his points of view. That’s America. Everyone gets to share their opinions.
Many of Huppenthal’s online comments, as reported here by blogger Bob Lord, were attempts to “anonymously” defend himself. This was ultimately his undoing. His continued self-praise and ego are what led to his exposure and connected him to his other inflammatory comments.
Those writings matter because of trust and credibility. That’s one problem with them.
If Huppenthal’s truly believes those receiving state and federal assistance are “lazy pigs” or that Arizona needs to pass an English-only law while banning Spanish language billboards, he should state them publicly during his re-election campaign rather than hiding behind the veil of online anonymity.
Clearly, Huppenthal doesn’t trust voters to hear his true opinions or he doesn’t think he can get elected by being so argumentative.
Truth be told, he is allowed to have private thoughts and opinions that never have to be uttered in public. But, it was Huppenthal who took his private comments and wrote them on public forums. He just hoped to never be exposed as ‘Falcon9′ or ‘Thucydides’. Huppenthal took a risk and that risk backfired on him. Now he’s being held accountable.
That’s why the state’s education head is distancing himself from his online troll persona. In a press conference Wednesday, Huppenthal said:
“My blog comments were hurtful, I’m here today because of those hurtful blog comments, I’m here today to repudiate those blog comments, I’m here to renounce those blog comments, they’re not what is in my mind; they don’t reflect the love that is in my heart.”
Apology accepted, right? Not quite and there-in lies the other problem.
Former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Keegan said Wednesday that Huppenthal didn’t seem very remorseful when she called him this week to ask him to resign. During that conversation, Keegan said, Huppenthal told her there was nothing wrong with his online commentary, something he repeated on Blog for Arizona.
Thanks for looking up some of my comments and repeating them. They don’t embarrass me. In fact, a few of them are quite impressive. In fairness, why don’t you have Thucydides day and repeat all of my comments?
Better yet, Mr. Superintendent, why don’t you repeat them in front of a microphone so voters know your true positions? It sure would be nice to have a politician do just that: Tell the truth for once.
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food