It’s been almost five days since the internet discovered Ken Bone, an undecided Missouri voter who attended Sunday’s presidential town hall. Though we collectively questioned his judgment (c’mon, what kind of person is still undecided between these two at this point?) we fell in love with his jovial demeanor and, of course, that beautiful, bright red Kohl’s sweater.
Naturally though, the media must now eat him.
Bone took to Reddit last night to host an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, a sort of online town hall where the Reddit community can ask unfiltered and uncensored questions to famous people. It was a delightfully ironic turnabout, as Reddit users became the Ken Bone’s and Ken Bone became the grossly unqualified town hall subject. But Bone, a longtime Reddit regular, made the mistake of using his own account, rather than creating a new one for the purposes of the AMA, thereby exposing the world to Bone’s long history of online interactions.
Among the revelations were that Bone was an occasional viewer of some (ahem) unconventional pornography, that he may have once pretended to have car insurance in order to get a job delivering pizzas, and that he agreed with a Seminole County, Florida jury in saying that the killing of Trayvon Martin was justified (though he still thought George Zimmerman was kind of a jerk.) Blogging internet hipsters could forgive the first two, but that last one? Not very progressive of you, Ken!
With his character ripe for assassination, the headlines began to trickle in. “Ken Bone is not just decided, he’s ignorant” from the New York Daily News’s Gersh Kunztman (you might remember him from when he got PTSD from firing an AR-15), “Ken Bone’s disturbing Reddit history shows he’s not nearly as adorable as we thought,” from the Daily Beast, and the New York Post cutting straight to the point with “Ken Bone is actually kind of an awful guy.”
What’s tragic about all this is that Bone’s AMA mishap actually revealed him to be the regular Joe that we all thought he was. He was funny, unassuming, and seemed to have no delusions about the entailments of his sudden, newfound fame. That last point was encapsulated in Bone’s revelation that he would not be pulling a Joe the Plumber and making campaign stops with the candidate that he ultimately decides to vote for, choosing instead to use his celebrity to encourage people to get out and vote. In my opinion, Bone’s decision to use his own Reddit account was an admirable one. He chose not to pretend to be something he wasn’t, revealing that he was the normal everyman that he seemed to be, struggling to make sense of a tumultuous and confusing election cycle like millions of others.
So I contend to you, internet: he who is without sin, cast the first stone at Bone.