WASHINGTON - Honoring the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July seemed innocent enough.
America's founding document, after all, represents the can-do spirit of the American people and the revolutionary vigor with which the country was founded.
But when NPR did just that, posting the document line-by-line in a series of tweets on Tuesday, Twitter users thought the words of our founding fathers were overtly political statements. As a result, they pulled the Declaration into the abrasive political rhetoric of 2017.
Just as NPR worked through the part about the colonists' frustration with British rule, someone tweeted, "Are you drunk? Your silly tweets make your state of mind questionable."
One person thought NPR was starting a revolution when it quoted the founders' idea that it should be the right of the people to alter or abolish destructive governments.
So, NPR is calling for revolution.— D.G.Davies (@JustEsrafel) July 4, 2017
Interesting way to condone the violence while trying to sound "patriotic".
Your implications are clear.
He later admitted he got it wrong.
Okay, okay...I screwed up with @npr. I jumped the gun and tweeted when I should have waited for them to finish. I offer my apologies.— D.G.Davies (@JustEsrafel) July 5, 2017
People were even taking screenshots of the angry responses to the NPR tweets and shared them with the world.
This woman thought someone hacked the NPR account. She eventually figured it out, though. pic.twitter.com/JjJ990rB4g— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) July 5, 2017
NPR spokeswoman Allyssa Pollard says the tweets were shared by thousands of people and generated "a lively conversation."