THE FIVE

Should sarcasm be a punishable offense?

Texas teen jailed for making spiteful Facebook comment

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," July 2, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Yes, a Texas student is behind bars since late March for what his father says was a dumb joke posted on social media. Nineteen-year-old Justin Carter was arguing with someone on Facebook about a videogame when he made an offhanded comment about shooting up a school. Carter was arrested and charged with making a terrorist threat, a crime punishable with up to 10 years in prison.

Eric, what do you think?

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: It's tough one. I am all for free speech. But there are certain things you can't do, as we're learning, in the George Zimmerman case, you can't make racist remarks, "just kidding, LOL, can't call me a white ass cracker," and go, "just kidding, LOL," not be offended by that.

The point is, can you do it on text, on Twitter and Facebook, and you can't do it in person. I think we have to say, if I were saying this out loud, you have to say how would it sound, and just live by that.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Yes, but this guy is in jail two months. This is ridiculous.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: And he is 19.

GUTFELD: I mean, come on, we need a national holiday, to say lighten up, America. You got kids with guns on their shirts, NRA, angry Tweets, you got the kid with the pop tart shaped as a gun.

We're going nuts here. This guy said something really bad as a joke, they could have visited him, he could have said, hey, I'm sorry, check him out. The guy is -- this is nuts.

PERINO: Yes, they had -- we talked about the guy yesterday, Bob, that rapper Meek Mill, and he is sentenced to etiquette classes to deal with his tweets. This kid is in jail. And we seem to have no perspective any more. He is 19. Plus, they didn't find anything at the home. The woman that saw it and reported it is from Canada.

BECKEL: I know.

What do you think, Andrea?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: This is absolutely outrageous. Is there no more free speech in this country? We saw a jailed filmmaker.

This kid, it was a dumb comment, he was being sarcastic. Someone said you're crazy, you're insane, he goes, "Oh, yes, I am insane, like I am going to shoot a bunch of kids." Sarcasm, I guess, doesn't translate.

But, Bob, as Dana said, they visited the house, he has no guns, he has no threat. I did speak to an attorney today who said, in order for this to be worthy of putting him in jail, he would have to say I'm going to go shoot up a school at 9:00, I'm going to get my guns --

BECKEL: This is an example of us going overboard on terrorism, taking it to the degree it is getting absolutely silly. I mean, go out and find some terrorists, leave this kid alone.

GUTFELD: This is linked to the Sandy Hook thing.

BECKEL: It was before the Sandy Hook thing.

GUTFELD: No, I thought it was a month after.

BECKEL: Oh, right after? Even so.

GUTFELD: You know, it's crass, but it could be easily solved, you go visit, make a phone call. That's it.

BECKEL: You want to say something?

BOLLING: Listen, I agree with you guys, kid probably shouldn't be in jail. But there are things that you can't do. You can't say I've got a bomb on a plane. Can't say there's a fire in a movie theater.

TANTAROS: It's the difference between saying I want to rob a Staples, and, Greg, meet me at Staples, 9:00 p.m., we're going to rob Staples, or we're going to go kidnap this person.

BECKEL: Do you think this would happen before 9/11?

TANTAROS: This is too vague and the Austin police department should be slapped down. Where's Governor Perry, hello? Sorry.

PERINO: Where's the judgment --

TANTAROS: Where are the politicians in Texas?

BECKEL: I agree with you. I just think this is another overreaction to 9/11.

GUTFELD: But it is not overreaction to terror, it is overreaction to gun shootings.

BECKEL: Well, that's -- should all be called a terrorist act.

But, anyway, "One More Thing" is up next.

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