Wednesday was a normal day for Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingGOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing Pence to visit Iowa to headline event for congressman Former Steve King challenger on rural voters in GOP states: 'They hate Democrats' MORE until it wasn’t.
The Under the Radar Magazine politics editor was going about his business when his Twitter mentions started to rise, with some people calling him a dolt and questioning whether he was part of the human population.
“People call you, they’re like ‘oh, you’re a bigot. You’re a Nazi. You’re this. You’re that.’ It’s like, I’m just a dude,” King said.
King was getting called out because the other Steve King — the Iowa GOP congressman kicked of his congressional panels by Republicans outraged over his controversial statements — had become embroiled in yet another firestorm, this time for suggesting most of humanity was the result of rape and incest.
King – the magazine editor – had seen the comments and knew what was about to hit.
“I was like, here it comes,” said King, who is frequently mistaken online for the congressman.
One Twitter user accidentally tagging @steveking_ instead of @SteveKingIA asked whether the editor is “part of the human population.”
Another, replying to a tweet from Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyGOP warns McConnell won't blink on debt cliff House passes bill to prevent shutdown and suspend debt limit Louisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid MORE (R-La.), said “Well @steveking_ was a bigger dolt today but you are second in line for sheer stupid today.”
Has anyone determined whether @steveking_ is part of the human population?— Ponder (@Washyourowndish) August 14, 2019
So tiring to hear someone trying to get attention by saying something highly controversial. It’s annoying, frankly.
Well @steveking_ was a bigger dolt today but you are second in line for sheer stupid today.— Unexpectedactivist (@Unexpectedactiv) August 15, 2019
King the editor takes it all in stride but acknowledges it can be a bit much.
“Sometimes I’ll be going about my day and you’ll start to get notifications,” said the editor, who tries to maintain a sense of humor and has made jokes about the vitriol he gets — by mistake — on Twitter.
Scrolling through my mentions like pic.twitter.com/czfeCz5BTO— Steve King (@steveking_) August 15, 2019
King isn’t the only one who has to deal with mistaken identity when it comes to having a famous name on social media.
In fact, he’s not even the only Steve King.
Stephen King, famed author of “The Shining” and “Pet Semetery,” also tweeted about being confused with GOP Rep. Steve King.
“Let's get 1 thing straight. I'm not THAT Steve King,” he tweeted Thursday.
Let's get 1 thing straight. I'm not THAT Steve King.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 15, 2019
The problem also ranges beyond Steve Kings, and can be an issue for people who just have similar names to the famous or sort-of famous.
Matt Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, a progressive media watchdog group, said he is often confused for Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzBipartisan senators to hold hearing on 'toxic conservatorships' amid Britney Spears controversy Eric Trump lawyer in New York attorney general's fraud case quits Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally MORE, the conservative Republican congressman from Florida.
He once repeatedly tweeted “wrong guy” to dozens of respondents who incorrectly tagged him as the congressman.
How's everyone else's night going? pic.twitter.com/TyDrEQNCK0— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) February 27, 2019
Misidentifications can border on the macabre.
Jeffrey R. Epstein, director of corporate communications at the Walt Disney Company, tweeted over the weekend about people confusing him with Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier accused of sex trafficking and rape, who killed himself in his prison cell.
“I guess I should appreciate all the RIPs, but I’m not dead. And I’m still *not* THAT Jeffrey Epstein,” the Disney executive tweeted Saturday.
I guess I should appreciate all the RIPs, but I’m not dead. And I’m still *not* THAT Jeffrey Epstein.— Jeffrey R Epstein (@EpsteinJeffrey) August 10, 2019
Friends of the Disney executive came to his defense, including actress Yvette Nicole Brown, who called the Epstein the “nicest guy ever.”
General PSA: My friend @EpsteinJeffrey has the same name as the monster arrested today, but he is not THAT #JeffreyEpstein yet his feed is in shambles.— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) July 8, 2019
My bud, Jeffrey is a lovely guy who works for Disney. Nicest guy EVER. #ThatsTheTweet
Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Fifth House Republican comes out in support of bipartisan infrastructure bill Watch live: McCarthy holds briefing with reporters MORE, an entertainment and movie reporter at Fox5 in Washington, D.C., has been confused for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), the House Republican leader.
On Thursday, the day after Rep. Steve King was making his controversial remarks, Kevin McCarthy the movie reporter commiserated with Stephen King the author.
Mr. King, I can relate. https://t.co/j9IQN28ObB— Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) August 15, 2019
McCarthy has taken another tactic for addressing the attacks he receives online when people disagree with something Rep. McCarthy has said or done.
He takes a word from a Twitter user’s message and finds a way to relate it to a movie he loves, inviting the person to talk about pop culture instead of politics.
Good morning Theresa,— Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) October 10, 2018
This is news to me. I didn't realize I was even in the running for Speaker of the House.
You mentioned "Good luck" and it got me thinking about the incredible George Clooney film, "Good Night, and Good Luck." A powerful, relevant and beautifully shot film. https://t.co/TGGujzM4yZ
“Personally, I kind of like having fun with it. It’s a great way to keep positivity on social media and also recommend movies that I love. So I look at it as a way to spin the negative into a positive,” McCarthy said.
He said Rep. McCarthy has sometimes weighed in.
“The funniest part of this whole thing is that Representative Kevin McCarthy is fully aware of what is happening with my social media,” he said. "Therefore, sometimes he will actually respond and have fun with it too. I remember one time I posted something on Instagram about it and he responded with a joke about how he gets negative tweets about my movie review for 'Dolphin Tale 2.' ”