Well, it had to happen eventually. After countless feuds and millions of nasty comments, someone has finally punched someone else in the face after being disparaged on Twitter.
The one-sided melee went down in Washington last night following a performance by comedian Dan Nainan at a comedy club called DC Improv.
Nainan, who is of Indian and Japanese descent, was once described by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as “The funniest guy out there.” He’s also performed for U.S. president Barack Obama, who deemed him “hilarious.”
For the record, Nainan is also the comedian shamed in a New York Times article earlier this year for buying Twitter followers. Apparently it only cost him $424.15 (U.S.) to boost his Twitter follower count from 700 to more than 220,000.
In any event, comedy remains a subjective art form, and in the crowd at last night’s show was Newsweek Daily Beast correspondent Josh Rogin, who, whether in an official capacity or not, chose to start tweeting about Nainan’s set.
Rogin’s first tweet: “Dan Nainan was funny until he dusted off his 2005 Katrina jokes in a gratingly bad GWB impression.” (GWB being former U.S. president George W. Bush, of course).
Shortly after, Rogin tweeted: “Dan Nainan makes his umpteenth joke about how Asians can’t distinguish between letters ‘L’ and ‘R.’ Election, erection, we get it.”
And then this abrupt tweet from Rogin: “We are calling the police on Dan Nainan who just punched me twice in front of several witnesses.”
Also in attendance at the club was online gadfly Nikki Schwab of the website Washington Whispers, who apparently witnessed the confrontation and spoke to Rogin afterwards.
Said Rogin: “Dan Nainan comes over to me and says, ‘Are you Josh Rogin,’ and I said yes and then he punched me in the jaw, then he pushed me, then he walked away and about 10 seconds later he came over and punched me again.”
Rogin continued: “At that point I yelled, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ Other people noticed and they courted him off and the bouncers escorted him from the show room and we called the police and he’s in the process of being arrested.”
The lesson here: Either tweet from a safe distance or go incognito if you’re planning to do a live-tweet review in a small club.
But Rogin probably got off easy compared to the British man who was almost banned from boarding his plane after complaining about delays on Twitter.
According to a report in Metro, law lecturer Mark Leiser was recently booked on a morning flight from Glasgow to London, and was worried he would miss his connection after the flight was delayed for over an hour.
After conferring with easyJet staff regarding the possibility of taking a train to London instead, Leiser said he was told how he continued his journey was not the airline’s problem.
The airline staff allegedly was also informed there was a passenger in the military who might also miss their connecting flight.
So Leiser took to Twitter, and posted the comment: “Flight delayed 90 min. Soldier going to miss last connection and @easyJet refusing to help pay for him to get to Portsmouth.”
Which marked the beginning of the end of Leiser’s travel plans on this day. Shortly after, he tweeted: “Manager from easjet just said I couldn’t board because I criticized easyJet on twitter before boarding the flight.”
Leiser was eventually allowed on the flight, but only after he showed his legal credentials to an easyJet manager. “ “He only really let me on the flight because I flashed my law lecturing ID and I don’t like doing that,” he said later.
Soon after, an easyJet spokesperson released a statement saying: “easyJet has never denied boarding due to comments on social media. On the rare occasion that we consider denying boarding it is on the basis of disruptive behaviour.”
And the kicker: easyJet even issued a personal apology to Leiser – via Twitter.
The apology: “Hi Mark, we are sorry to hear about this unfortunate incident. NO passenger will be denied boarding due to comments made on social media.”