Among the things on social media that have outraged people, especially journalists and social media influencers and social justice warriors, is the bungled interview by a Bangladeshi of a well-known American academic.
We are naming neither party in the fear of backlash that we shamed the person who, according to the various reactions, "speaks bad English", "should be celebrated for taking initiative" and also "is not a genuine journalist, so how dare?"
First came the news that a small online platform and a young "journalist" (contractually obligated quote marks) was interviewing the stalwart social critic or the father of modern linguistics as many call him.
Then came news that the interview didn't happen after all. This correspondent woke up to vague statuses on Facebook cringing at the sheer audacity of the interviewer who failed in calculating the right time, no thanks to daylight savings.
This triggered the phenomenon that critical thinker Do Burnhim (to the ground) recently referred to as the reaction to the reaction to the reaction video.
The easiest of them came first. They critiqued the dude's English, lamented on the country's otherwise impeccable but now tarnished image, his inability to respect the great linguist, the audacity of getting a sponsorship. In long-winding statuses that took precious minutes to write, they criticised his poor English language capabilities. They also questioned his social media use.
"This was all just a social media gimmick. He did it for the likes. I cannot believe he took screenshots of personal correspondence with the man and shared them on social media just to get popular and create a hype," said one user who also got plenty of likes and comments himself for his daylong rant on the matter.
But soon enough, as afternoon rolled into evening the other side came along. This was the reaction-to-the-reaction-to-the-interview gang. In even longer, more nuanced statuses, they let everyone know how much they loved the critical thinker and how valuable a lesson this interview is for Bangladeshis because at least the TikTok generation (which btw is considered even worse than the Facebook generation) now knows who this great linguist is.
They defended the interviewer's English and critiqued the colonial mindset of the first responders to the Great Interview Mishap.
They quickly explained daylight savings to every idiot and confirmed how difficult it is to get a hang of it because the white people truly love how to confuse the living daylights out of us. They questioned the first responders' reaction and asked them if they were so into the great linguist, why didn't they set up interviews themselves?
"Comment on the good. See the good side here is at least people now know who Chomsky is (I have read reviews of his books, so I am well aware) and they should pick up some books to increase their self-awareness," said yet another reactor.
Small-time news media outlets were also quick to make collages informing people of the Great Interview Mishap. Many went on to comment there as well. Both first and second and third reactors. Against the interviewer, for the interviewer, against the whole thing, for the whole thing and it went on in an endless loop. Until, well until yours truly decided to do a reaction to the reaction to the reaction to the interview, to finally seal the deal?
UPDATE: Soon after this story was published, the outrageous correspondent stayed up late into the night scrolling through social media to see the reception of this article and the reaction to this particular piece. It was not good.