by Max Brantley
Ruth Carney, the preacher's wife elected mayor in Hot Springs, gets ripped in her hometown newspaper today for an example of her ill-considered humor that we mentioned yesterday. Already the cause of some unhappiness because of her perceived coolness to the important tourism business in the city (she doesn't approve of gambling and she made fun of touted turnout for the St. Patrick's Day Parade), Mayor Carney didn't help herself with the joke posted on a Facebook page playing off a sniper image (above).
An editorial in the Sentinel-Record said Carney had "once again shown her disdain for the city's No. 1 industry — tourism." Carney told the newspaper that she was joking, but the newspaper was not amused, saying her remarks were "inappropriate" and "in bad taste."
It’s disconcerting that an individual who campaigned for more civility and respect in city government would cast more aspersions — directly or indirectly — on people who work in the tourism business and demean visitors who contribute so much to the Hot Springs’ economy.
Making jokes about killing tourists would also seem a little off-key from a politician whose major campaign support group was the Women of Prayer. That group prays before each Council meeting. Her husband's church also hosted a session for select public officials by revisionist religionist "historian" David Barton on putting more Christianity back in government. If you don't heed him, he and the mayor will shoot you dead.
UPDATE: Just joking in that last sentence. Ha ha.