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ONLINE UNDER FIRE: In this age of nanosecond reporting and near-universal stream-of-conscious “status” updating (editors included) via social media, it’s easy to forget to think before you tweet. Take New York Times staffers Horacio Silva and Andy Port, who have landed themselves in hot, if a bit murky, water thanks to off-color and off-the-cuff comments they posted on T: The New York Times Style Magazine’s The Moment Twitter account and blog, respectively, over the long weekend.
Silva, online director at T, was play-by-play tweeting (complete with initialed byline) about Golden Globes fashion on Sunday, when he asked The Moment’s nearly 1.6 million followers: “Is Michael C. Hall playing Bob Marley in an upcoming movie? Don’t get the hat or what he is hiding under it. HS” He was referring to the “Dexter” actor’s dark-colored beanie, which was presumably related to Hall’s recent revelation that he’d undergone treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. (Last week, Hall said he was in remission.) And after several immediate reader responses via retweet, Silva got his answer; the offending post was deleted and an apology tweeted: “So sorry that Michael C. Hall has had cancer. Thanks for clarifying why he is wearing a knitted skull cap. HS”
That Silva’s tweet was picked up by Web sites including Gawker and Perez Hilton only served to further lodge Silva’s foot in his mouth. “It was a question I posed entirely without malice,” Silva told WWD Tuesday. “I know from the effect it had on my family, how devastating cancer can be and it’s not something that I take lightly. I apologize for any hurt that I may have caused.” (Brian D. Johnson, senior entertainment writer and film critic at Canadian magazine Macleans, offered a similarly insensitive comment regarding Hall’s headgear on macleans.ca in his “live-to-tape” award show blog on Monday. The mention and related reader comments were swiftly deleted by his editors, and an apology has now been tacked on to Johnson’s entry.)
Meanwhile, T executive editor Port didn’t hold back in her Golden Globes wrap-up, posted on Monday evening on T’s The Moment blog. The topic? Several attendees’ “sexier curves.” Accompanied by red-carpet shots of Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Courteney Cox, Port’s piece — still online as of press time — began, “Maybe it’s just me, but I could have sworn that some of the ladies who showed up at the Golden Globes on Sunday had put on a little weight.” — Nick Axelrod