The hours after a tragedy are an often confusing and chaotic time. People can make mistakes.
That’s seemingly what happened Wednesday night when Rear Adm. John Kirby, the chief spokesman for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, tweeted a link to a satirical article on Duffel Blog
, a publication similar to The Onion
that focuses on the military, when he intended to link Hagel’s statement on the night’s shooting at Fort Hood.
Kirby’s original tweet has been deleted, though Mashable
grabbed a screenshot:
The Duffel Blog
article he linked is about a Navy captain taking his official photograph, and that photo being used on the cover of Navy Times upon his firing.
Kirby’s follow-up tweet, in which he noted his “erroneous link,” is still up:
The mistake led to some ribbing from Kirby’s Twitter followers, including a “Fake Admiral Kirby” account:
However, given the seriousness of Wednesday night’s shooting at Fort Hood, in which four people were killed
, including the shooter, some followers were quite forgiving of the slip-up.
[RELATED: Ragan's new distance-learning site, Ragan Training, is the most comprehensive video training library for corporate communicators.]
Here’s the full statement from Hagel, which was what Kirby originally intended to link:
Today's shooting was a terrible tragedy for the Fort Hood community, the Department of Defense, and for the nation. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. And my sympathies go out to this strong and resilient community, which has experienced this kind of senseless violence all too recently.
There is nothing more important to us as an institution than the safety and well-being of our people, and for that reason I am grateful to all the first responders who rushed to the scene. We will closely monitor the situation at Fort Hood and stay informed by what investigators and law enforcement personnel learn about the shooting.