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Beach Grit

The Inertia: “Slater and Trump the same!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Venice-adjacent's other website claims, "Both endorse death penalty!"

The Inertia is to surf journalism what sexually confused boys are to the eighth grade. Meekly trying to fit in but not knowing where. Saying loudly, “I like that too!” when everyone else has gone quiet. Wanting to wear a My Little Pony backpack but ending up in Green Bay Packers jersey and cut-off jean shorts. It is endearing but also sad. And Venice-adjacent’s definitive voice of surfing just outdid itself, angering its hero Kelly Slater in the process!

Yesterday, almost a week after the tragic attack in New York City which left many dead, The Inertia decided to weigh in on the death penalty, posting the following to Instagram:

“What befell the city of New York on Tuesday – Halloween day, no less – was nightmarish, to say the least. At least eight were killed, according to reports, when a lone truck driver intentionally plowed through a crowded bike lane area of Lower Manhattan. Officials have called the attack an act of terror. The culprit has since been apprehended and in the fallout, President Trump (@realdonaldtrump) has called for the death penalty. ‘NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!’ said Trump in a tweet. In a strange turn of events, Worldstar Hip Hop turned full debate moderator, posting a series of Trump’s tweets on Instagram with the caption, “#PresidentTrump advocates the death penalty following the #NYC truck attack…thoughts?” And among the more than 4,700 comments, @kellyslater himself decided to chime in. ‘There’s no real reason anyone who happily and proudly kills a bunch of innocent people with no remorse should continue the pleasure of life,’ said Kelly in a comment. Amid the hysteria in the comments alone, many of which call for hanging the culprit, 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, ‘in the public square,’ Kelly’s sentiment seems tame.”


It took a lot of work to tie Kelly Slater’s position on the death penalty to the position of Donald Trump but The Inertia did it! Oh their “followers” were not happy, leveling “Stay out of politics…” “You suck…” “Fire your interns…” “Unfollowing…” attacks. Even Kelly Slater jumped in, declaring:

You’ve taken liberties with the context of my comments. But keep up the click bait and sensationalistic headlines by trolling comment sections of other people’s accounts for (non) stories. I didn’t really take a stand with what or how I said this. It’s just a knee jerk reaction and considering I was a mile away with my daughter on the same sidewalk minutes after this happened, the proximity of it hit home. I would advocate tying him to a post in the middle of town and letting the public decide. Maybe that’s a better headline. Not sure leaving him in jail on our dime for an eternity is the answer.

Tying a murderer to a post in the middle of town and letting the public decide his fate is wonderfully medieval and The Inertia should have changed its headline but didn’t and doubled down on its sadness by responding:

As surfing’s consummate spokesperson, we hold the utmost respect for your opinion and endeavors. As such, your criticism definitely stings. We’ll use it as a nudge to continue to reevaluate and refine our evolving editorial process in the fast-moving world of modern media. That said, we do believe your opinions shared publicly on the most important (and sometimes tragic) events in American and global culture – even on social media – are newsworthy, and we respect your willingness to share those thoughts. If anything, it drives conversations forward among a group that otherwise might not discuss. Respectfully.

Oh hell. The Inertia‘s “editorial process” has been “refined” and “reevaluated” a lot lately. But please don’t change Zach and boys! You are the greatest you of all!