What do you do with your instantly publishing short-form social-media account when something big has happened but you don't know exactly what? Correct answer: nothing. But in the absence of reliable information yesterday, reflexive Twitter users filled the time by emptying out the preexisting contents of their heads.
So we waited till today to round up the worst of yesterday's insta-reactions:
1. Literally before anyone had enough facts to even identify the explosions as bombs, paranoid nutbag-agitator Alex Jones had already seen enough to be confident it was a fake bombing. Opening with condolences-as-caveat was a professional touch.
2. Right-wing-talking-point repeater Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post saw the coverage of the carnage as a chance to make a jape about MSM hypocrisy, because where was everyone when that Philadelphia abortion doctor bombed a bunch of pregnant women at the Mummers Parade?
Not writing on Boston. It is a local crime story for now.— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) April 15, 2013
3. Self-righteous New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof was mad at Republicans in Congress, then deleted his message in embarrassment.
4. We would like to make sure you know how scrupulous we are being about our terminology, so we are broadcasting a boring and ephemeral internal newsroom usage decision to the whole world.
Editorial note: we are calling the Boston Marathon explosion a "blast" at this point, no confirmed reports of a "bombing."— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) April 15, 2013
5. If the perpetrators had known how angry they would make a tech guy, they would never have dared.
1. Praying for Boston, 2. F#$k you terrorists/murderers, be you domestic, international or otherwise mentally deranged. #bostonmarathon— jason (@Jason) April 15, 2013
6. How fast can the victims be turned into a ponderous abstraction to show how deep a feature-writer's feelings are? This fast.
Marathon clock looked like it was at 4:09 when the first explosion happened. Elites long gone. Triers then. Big hearts then.— Chris Jones (@MySecondEmpire) April 15, 2013
7. The sad feelings I have about this massacre remind me of the sad feelings I got from watching a television program about a fictional sad event.
Every time I see cops and firefighters running toward disaster while most others run away, I think of this scene: youtube.com/watch?v=hqVWqT…— Wright Thompson (@wrightthompson) April 15, 2013
8. God told me to boss you around now. Right now.
Pray for Boston. Now.— Rick Warren (@RickWarren) April 15, 2013
9. Was Nicholas Kristof's tweet not dumb enough? How about an UPDATE on some coverage of some reaction to Nicholas Kristof's tweet?
10. It's terrible when a giant breaking news story distracts everyone from the coverage of the announcement of news awards. Poor neglected Pulitzer winners.
Just for the record, here is NYT story on the Pulitzers, overshadowed by breaking news:nyti.ms/10Y3hhP Congratulations to all.— Patrick LaForge, NYT (@palafo) April 15, 2013
11. Find the happy angle, guys.
Boston Marathon Explosions — Joey McIntyre Missed Blast By Minutes tmz.me/ZlUQ1C— TMZ (@TMZ) April 15, 2013
12. Or maybe put the whole awful thing out of your mind altogether.