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Mistake-hen-identity: Ilion native deals with misdirected Red Hen rage after White House Press Secretary asked to leave

A fowl mix-up over the weekend had a Herkimer County native trying to deflect a misdirected social media stoning...and doing it, on a world stage.

Posted: Jun 26, 2018 6:22 PM
Updated: Jun 27, 2018 2:41 PM

A fowl mix-up over the weekend had a Herkimer County native trying to deflect a misdirected social media stoning...and doing it, on a world stage.

Alysa Turner, formerly of Ilion, handles communications for several Washington, D.C.- area restaurants, including one called the Red Hen. As luck would have it-bad luck-it's the same name as the restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, whose owner asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave on Friday. Saturday started with a warning for Turner; a warning soon followed by a deluge of social media hate.

"The owner of the Red Hen that this actually did happen to had already noticed that we'd been getting confused and sent an email along saying, hey, sorry about this. It did happen at our restaurant but you guys are getting confused on social media," said Turner, in phone interview from Washington.

Turns out, the warning was appropriate, as biting social media vitriol that followed was nothing short of epic.

"Definitely in the thousands and we got it everywhere; we got it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, we got phone calls at the restaurant, emails to the restaurant," said Turner.

At first, Turner came at it with logic, stating simply and clearly that it was a completely different restaurant that booted the press secretary. When the hate persisted, she tried humor, tweeting examples of how several different people can actually share the same name.

Along with the hate, though, came loyalty from friends in the restaurant business.

"Maybe a little bit busier because we have a lot of our restaurant industry friends coming to support us because they feel bad that we were dragged into this through no fault of our own"

Also over the weekend-palpable anger, directed at a restaurant roughly three hours from the one where the wrath-provoking incident actually happened.

"We were egged overnight on Sunday night, but thankfully that was the worst that's happened so far."

Turner says the social media fervor is finally winding down.

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