The Herald-Mail covers Spong’s racist meme

By Ryan Miner 

As I wrote earlier today, Woody Spong’s calamity with Facebook has gone viral. Herald-Mail Media picked on Spong’s questionable social media share and published a story about it.

Which Facebook meme, you ask? Oh, this one:

Screen shot 2016-01-18 at 4.53.21 PM

If you have the same astonished, incredulous and embarrassed reaction as I still do, count yourself among the majority.

Apparently Spong is pissed at The Herald-Mail for, God forbid, writing a story about an elected (unelected) Washington County official, who in the year 2016, shared an inherently racist Facebook meme on his personal Facebook page without first considering all possible consequences before hitting the “share” icon.

I’m certainly not one to judge others for their mistakes. I’ve made errors in judgment in my past. However, I understand that when you’re in the public eye, your past isn’t off limits, and everything you say or do is subject to media scrutiny – whether you like it or not.

But for goodness sakes, Woody, you should understand that you are held to higher standards as an elected (unelected) official.

Here are a few notable snippets from the Herald-Mail article about Spong’s racist meme:

Herald-Mail reporter CJ Lovelace wrote,

“The online dialogue was fueled, in part, by local blogger Ryan Miner, who has posted two articles since the meme was shared Monday.”

That’s true. I was the first to write about Spong’s racist Facebook share.

You know what they say about reporters, don’t you? You give them facts, and like whores and ladies of the night, you can make them do anything. Or something. Oh, wait. Opps!

This is the point in the article where I couldn’t contain my laughter:

“In his voicemail, Spong condemned Herald-Mail Media for asking about the issue, saying Miner “put you on it,” even though the post was viewable to anyone in Facebook’s public domain.

“For you guys to be chasing Ryan Miner’s (expletive), it’s terrible. It’s terrible,” Spong said in the voicemail. “You might as well call yourself the sleaze newspaper. You think I’m angry? I am. I thought you’d be better than this.”


Instead of acknowledging his obvious lack of social media discernment, Spong launched into an ad hominem attack against the newspaper and me.

Woody – your Facebook page is public. Lock down your settings, bub. Scroll to the top of the Facebook home screen. Click on the small icon that looks like a padlock. Then you should scroll down to the bottom of the menu and click on “Privacy Basics.” Once there, Facebook will walk you through the steps to make your Facebook page “private.” After completing those basic steps, now only your Facebook friends can view the videos you share of cats playing the piano and whistling Dixie.

Basic stuff, right? For some, maybe.

Mr. Spong is learning social media like he’s learning that we are actually living out the year 2016, not 1964. Women can vote now, too, Mr. Spong. The BOCC isn’t a place to act out your favorite episode of Mad Men, okay, there, Roger Sterling? But you could never compare Woody Spong to Roger Sterling. Heresy!

The best part of this Herald-Mail Media article is the mention of Spong’s expletive. I bet anyone the last Powerball winnings that Spong said the word “shit.” I’d pay good money to get a recording of the angry message Spong left on the Herald-Mail’s voicemail.

Honestly, I expected Spong to double down. If he thinks the Facebook meme he shared wasn’t racist, then maybe there is a much larger problem here than just Spong’s obvious misunderstanding of social media.

I wonder how Republican congressional candidate Terry Baker – the same Terry Baker who said during a Republican debate that he would “take out Clinton, Obama and Kerry” if he were in a foxhole with the three while at war – feels about his best friend sharing a racist meme on Facebook? I’m sure Baker is giving Spong PR tips as we speak.

I almost feel sorry for Woody. Almost. He wasn’t ready to handle the scrutiny that comes with being an elected (unelected) official.

I blame the inept members of the Washington County Republican Central Committee for creating this problem. The Republican Central Committee was told what to do and when to get it done. This is what happens when a Republican Central Committee fails to vet its hand-picked candidates and hastily rushes a nomination for the sake of just getting it over with before the Easter break.

Maybe Spong should take a break from social media for a while and stick with telling jokes about facts and whores.

Dear Senator Jamie Raskin,

On behalf of Washington County, I’m truly sorry.

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