J-School Prof deletes tweet that appeared to advocate for violence against Rand Paul

University of Wisconsin-Madison journalism Professor Mike Wagner appeared to encourage Republican Senator Rand Paul’s neighbor to assault him in response to the libertarian politician’s comments on COVID mandates.

Rene Boucher, the senator’s Kentucky neighbor, attacked Paul in 2017, allegedly over a dispute about a pile of sticks. Boucher had to pay damages to Paul and served home confinement and time in jail, according to NBC News.

“Where have you gone, Rand Paul’s neighbor, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you,” Professor Wagner wrote on Twitter this morning. The phrase is presumably in reference to the Simon and Garfunkel song “Mrs. Robinson,” where the band longs for the return of Yankees player Joe DiMaggio.

He subsequently deleted the tweet (above) and wrote a follow-up tweet.

I deleted a tweet that could be read as encouraging violence. I didn’t mean it that way, but I should know better than to say anything that could be misconstrued in a violent direction. I apologize for that.

— Mike Wagner (@prowag) August 9, 2021

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