WASHINGTON — National Public Radio marked the Fourth of July by tweeting the entire Declaration of Independence, but it seems some Twitter users didn’t recognize what they were reading.
The broadcaster tweeted out the words of the declaration line-by-line Tuesday. Some of the founders’ criticisms of King George III were met with angry responses from supporters of President Donald Trump, who seemed to believe the tweets were a reference to his presidency.
One tweet read, “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”
Another said: “and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.”
A Twitter user accused NPR of condoning violence while trying to sound patriotic. The user apologized after the misunderstanding was pointed out.
Another asked if the tweet was talking about the U.S. current foreign agenda, asking if Americans were the tyrants.
Others were under the impression NPR was trying to provoke Trump with the tweets and praised the outlet for doing so. Many, recognizing it was the Declaration of Independence, said how history is repeating itself.
NPR broadcast its annual reading of the declaration for the 29th straight year on Independence Day. This is the first year the tradition has been extended to Twitter.
Spokeswoman Allyssa Pollard says the tweets were shared by thousands of people and generated “a lively conversation.”
This story has been updated.