NPR News has apparently declined to tweet the Declaration of Independence line by line this year like they did in 2017 and 2018 for reasons that remain unclear. However, during the 2017 and 2018 events, several Twitter users erroneously thought that the publicly-funded network was criticizing Donald Trump or even calling for revolution.
Since 1989, NPR has had the same July 4 tradition: The Declaration of Independence is recited, word for word, with various hosts taking turns at reading a few lines. However, in 2017, the organization updated the tradition for the modern era. The document was still read for radio listeners on the network’s Morning Edition program, but the network also tweeted the Declaration, a couple of lines at a time (due to the social media platform’s character limit).
It didn’t go well.
As Business Insider reported at the time, some Twitter users, apparently unaware of the context, seemed to think that the lines about King George III’s crimes against the colonies were actually criticisms of Donald Trump. Other users thought the publicly-funded network was legitimately calling for revolution.
For example, one user, on seeing the line “It is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,” seemed to think that this was an actual call to overthrow the government.
“So, NPR is calling for revolution. Interesting way to condone the violence while trying to sound ‘patriotic.’ Your implications are clear,” he tweeted.
— Eliot A Cohen (@EliotACohen) July 4, 2019
To be fair, more than one Twitter user, once they realized that they were responding to the Declaration of Independence and not NPR calling for revolution, owned up to their mistakes on Twitter. And to be even more fair, Snopes suggests that at least some of the “outrage” at the tweeting of the Declaration was the work of a Twitter troll who was having a laugh at the Twitter-verse’s expense.
Regardless, it happened again in 2018.
As The Inquisitr reported at the time, once again NPR tweeted the Declaration a few lines at a time as they had done in 2018, and once again, some Twitter users didn’t get it.
This time, it looks like it’s not going to happen as NPR’s Twitter feed is devoid of the Declaration of Independence today. Instead, there’s an ongoing thread with links to Morning Edition hosts reading sections of the Declaration.
Some Twitter users took notice.
“Dang, I was hoping you would send it out as a thread again,” wrote one user.
“No tweeting it out this year?” wrote another.
At this point, it bears noting that NPR may yet tweet the Declaration later in the day, although from the context it does not appear as if they’re going to do so.