Linda Sorenson, chairman of the Delta County Republican Party, has responded to the furor caused by a Facebook meme of Ronald Reagan bottlefeeding a chimpanzee. The caption, "I'll be damned ... Reagan used to babysit Obama!" spurred outcries of racism that spread rapidly across the entire nation.
After the meme appeared on her personal Facebook page, Sorenson was contacted by Internet blogger Jason Salzman. She responded with the comment, "I really don't care if people are offended by it. Unfriend me. Stop looking at me on Facebook." The interview can be found on his website at bigmedia.org.
In a followup article in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Delta County Republican officials claimed Sorenson's Facebook page had been "hacked," despite her statement to Salzman.
The furor resulted in a closed-door meeting with local committee members and Steve House, state GOP chairman, Monday morning in Delta. As a result of that meeting, Sorenson issued the following statement, printed in its entirety:
"It appears that someone that I don't know tagged me in a Facebook post with a silly comparison to Barack Obama. I confess to 'liking' a tired old Internet meme, and I apologize for my bad judgment. When confronted on the spot by a liberal blogger, I was busy and didn't realize the game that was being played -- the 'gotcha' game. The 'gotcha' game is fun only for those who intend to ruin a person's name, reputation, and position of leadership. For anyone else who has been through the cycle, they can tell you how ridiculous and nasty the game is. From one moment to the next, I'm national news. The vitriol and hatred that has been directed at me has been nothing short of stunning. But anyone paying attention these days knows that the left is only about tolerance when they're demanding that YOU tolerate their latest nutty idea, and if you don't like it, then you're automatically a 'hater,' a 'bigot' and a 'racist.'
"I admit saying to the blogger that 'I don't care if you're offended,' however I do care very much if anyone else was offended. Please forgive me for being insensitive and not thinking of others in the heat of the moment.
"I believe one of the greatest things about America is that we are to be judged on the content of our character not the color of our skin."
Questions have also been raised about Sorenson's alleged endorsement of U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn, in violation of party rules, but reportedly the Monday morning meeting with House and local GOP leaders was focused primarily on the Facebook meme.
The regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Delta County Republican Party was held Tuesday night, after this issue of the DCI had gone to press.