Gaetz, Gertz and Morgan Freeman (Not That One): Twitter Mix-Up for the Ages

Brace yourselves, because this one is a doozy. If you've ever confused Media Matters senior fellow Matthew Gertz and Florida Representative Matthew Gaetz on Twitter, you're not the first one.

Someone else who's mixed the two up? Filmmaker Morgan J. Freeman (no, not the actor), who tweeted at Gertz on Wednesday, regarding a story about Gaetz.

Freeman shared a Twitter video from The Hill that features Gaetz speaking at a Students for Trump event. In the clip, the congressman compares President Donald Trump to President Calvin Coolidge, noting a similarity between their views on immigration. Gaetz also quotes Coolidge in the video, saying, "We must remember that every object of our institutions of society and government will fail, unless America be kept American."

Freeman criticized Gaetz' address, but he tagged Gertz in the tweet. "What is that code for? Why can't you just prefer America to be white, and if you can't get that, you'll fight to your death to make sure those in power remain white?" he wrote.


— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) June 24, 2020

Once again, Gertz is a senior fellow at Media Matters, a nonprofit "progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media," as stated on its website. According to his bio on the Media Matters site, Gertz has written for Huffpost, The Daily Beast, Politico and NBC News' THINK. "His work focuses on the relationship between Fox News and the Trump administration, news coverage of politics and elections, and media ethics," the bio states.

Gaetz, meanwhile, is the Republican Representative for Florida's first congressional district. He is known for being a very vocal Trump supporter, which, of course, has made him the subject of left-wing ire. In February, Rolling Stone called Gaetz "Trump's most shameless loyalist."

Gertz shared a screenshot of the tweet in which Freeman tagged him by mistake and simply wrote, "help." In a thread, he shared that he'd told Freeman that he was not the representative in the video—except Gertz also mistook Freeman for someone else.

Responding to his tweet asking for help, Gertz made a reference to a line that the actor Morgan Freeman says in The Shawshank Redemption. "Time to crawl through a river of s**t and see if I come out clean on the other side," he wrote, not realizing that the Morgan J. Freeman who mistakingly tagged him is not the Oscar-winning actor who appeared in Shawshank.

In one final tweet in the thread, Gertz highlighted his own error, and invoked the "Inception bwong" sound effect to acknowledge his mind was blown.

**Inception bwong**

— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) June 24, 2020

Freeman, who has produced TV shows like Teen Mom and directed movies like 2006's Just Like the Son, deleted his initial tweet and tagged the proper Matt in another tweet. He also quote-tweeted Gertz's saga and apologized for the mistake.

Truly sorry I accidentally tagged @MattGertz instead of @mattgaetz but let’s harness this great energy and take down the evil Mini-Trump GAETZ now!!!

— Morgan J. Freeman (@mjfree) June 24, 2020

Gertz declined Newsweek's request for further comment. Gaetz's office did not respond to Newsweek's request for comment by the time of this article's publication. Representatives for Freeman (again, the filmmaker, not the actor) also did not respond to Newsweek's request for comment in time for publication.

Matt Gaetz
Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, reacts to remarks by Representative Cedric Richmond, a Democrat from Louisiana, during a markup on H.R. 7120, the "Justice in Policing Act of 2020," on June 17, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Erin Scott-Pool/Getty