A federal mediator was removed from working on solving the NHL and the player association's many issues only two hours after being appointed to the job after hockey fans found his Twitter feed and discovered he was a fan of a particularly vulgar hashtag.
Guy Serota has been a Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for fifteen years, and had experience resolving the league's many issues during their last lockout in 2004, so it made sense for the FMCS to appoint him to work on the latest NHL lockout. The NHL is locked out, in case you didn't know. Gary Bettman, the league's commissioner seen above, and Don Fehr, the players' lead negotiator, have failed to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement like reasonable adults, so they're resorting to federal mediation. Many Canadians are on edge. If you encounter one in the wild, be careful.
Anyway, immediately after that was announced, hockey fans and bloggers started searching for Serota's Internet presence and found his Twitter feed, which looks a lot different now than it did a few hours ago. If you checked his Twitter this morning, it might have looked like this (via here):
Those are some pretty funny jokes! Really, he is hilarious. The Late, Late Show producer he keeps badgering should definitely hire him, because this man is a comedy writer. (Note: he is not funny and should not do comedy. He also, at one point, used late show host Craig Ferguson's #assmode hashtag joke incorrectly, which might be the funniest part of the whole thing. That Sarah Silverman tweet drew a lot of criticism, too, and within an hour the account was reported to the FMCS.
It should be noted that the account identified Serota as "Commissioner with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, United States Government," linked to the FMCS website, and there were plenty of "jokes" spread over a few months.
But, sure enough, the FMCS decided keeping Serota on, whether or not he's telling the truth, is a bad idea at this point. They pulled him with this hilarious "we're not really sure who to believe" statement:
“Within one hour after I issued a press release announcing that further negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA would be conducted under the auspices of the FMCS, it has been called to my attention that there are issues involving an allegedly hacked Twitter account associated with Commissioner Guy Serota, one of the mediators I assigned. Accordingly, in order to immediately dispel any cloud on the mediation process, and without regard to the merits of the allegations, I have determined to take immediate action, namely to remove Commissioner Serota from this assignment.”
For hockey media, where things have been really bleak lately, the idea of a federal employee using the #assmode hashtag and tweeting weird things at Sarah Silverman has been a shining, hilarious bright spot in an otherwise dark and gloomy world of labor negotiations. There's even a Twibbon some fans have made from Serota's sort-of creepy Twitter profile picture. The jokes haven't stopped, even after Serota's departure:
There are few things funnier than a good assmode joke, apparently. Especially on a Monday.