News Brief

Did Patton Oswalt get an Illinois Realtor fired because of a tweet?

Getting snarky on social media can have unintended consequences
  • On Jan. 30, a comedian praised former acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Twitter for refusing to execute President Trump's immigration order.
  • Real estate agent Tony Brust responded to Oswalt's tweet with a reference to Oswalt's deceased wife, Michelle McNamara.
  • Oswalt and Brust went back and forth on the social media platform, which may have resulted in Brust being fired from the Peoria-based brokerage he worked for.

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These days, Twitter seems to be the first place people go to air out grievances, call out detractors and share opinions — some of which can unwittingly become the catalyst for an all-out internet beef.

On Jan. 30, comedian Patton Oswalt posted a tweet in defense of Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general who criticized President Trump‘s immigration ban and was then fired.

Although Oswalt got some praise for his tweets about Yates, he drew the ire of some others — including Peoria-based real estate agent Tony Brust, who responded in a now-deleted tweet that read: “Oh (bleep), the little troll has an opinion again.”

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Oswalt’s fans immediately began tweeting back at Brust, unhappy with his comment. Brust then tweeted another more personal jab at Oswalt by making references to the comedian’s late wife, Michelle McNamara, who unexpectedly died in April 2016.

Allegedly, Brust tweeted he was psychically “channeling” McNamara’s opinion about her husband’s thoughts on Yates.

Oswalt sent out a flurry of now-deleted tweets in response to Brust, including tweets mocking some of Brust’s listing descriptions with lines such as “Totally Not A Murder House,” and “Personally crop dusted by Tony Brust.”

The next morning, Oswalt deleted many of his tweets and put out a statement on his Twitter page:

Meanwhile, Brust apparently deleted his Twitter profile and professional website. His LinkedIn page said he was an agent for Jim Maloof/Realtor in Peoria, Ill., but the brokerage says Brust no longer works for him.

When asked if Brust was fired due to his Twitter conduct, the brokerage refused to elaborate on the circumstances.

Oswalt, who apparently caught wind of Brust’s circumstances, made one last tweet about the spat:

Email Marian McPherson