UW-Madison professor deletes social media post that some saw as encouraging violence

Kelly Meyerhofer
Wisconsin State Journal

Excerpt: A UW-Madison professor apologized on Monday for a social media post that some saw as advocating violence against a U.S. senator. The tweet, by Mike Wagner, a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, was in response to a video posted on Twitter Sunday evening featuring Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky. In the video, Paul encouraged people to “resist” guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on stemming the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing a mask. In his now-deleted post, Wagner wrote: “Where have you gone, Rand Paul’s neighbor, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.”

Paul’s neighbor, Rene Boucher, tackled the senator in 2017, breaking several of Paul’s ribs. Boucher pleaded guilty to felony assault and was sentenced to eight months in prison and six months of home confinement.