News & Politics

A Bunch of Media People Made the Same Lame Joke About Harper Lee’s New Book

Assume joke dead.

Harper Lee is not on Twitter. Photograph via Wikimedia Commons.

Middle-school English teachers and other book lovers are rejoicing today in the news that Harper Lee, the author of the 1960 classic To Kill a Mockingbird, plans to publish a second novel later this year. Lee’s new volume, titled Go Set a Watchman, was actually composed in the 1950s. But Lee, according to a statement from her publisher, had assumed the galleys had been lost to the years.

Still, a new book from one of America’s most celebrated 20th-century novelists is cause for celebration, and, more obviously, lame attempts at Twitter humor. Loads of users, possibly before discovering the name of Lee’s upcoming release, came up with a title on their own:

The preceding tweets come from journalists affiliated with, in order, Salon, the Daily Beast, Washington Examiner, the Washington Post, National Review, Jezebel, and Sports Illustrated, all of whom apparently wanted to convey to their followers their deep admiration for the second entry in the The Fast and the Furious film series, the nimbly titled 2 Fast 2 Furious. Great job, folks. In fact, the Beast’s Asawin Suebsaeng was so pleased with his quip, he repeated it in an attempt to surpass the others.

Suebsaeng’s love of the late Paul Walker notwithstanding, the repeated joke is not even a fresh concoction. Patient Zero for “2 Kill 2 Mockingbird” appears be a user from Perth, Australia, who on October 27, 2011, tweeted it at Bill Boulden, a Buffalo, New York-based deejay who goes by the nom de club Spruke.

To Kill a Mockingbird has sold 40 million copies since it was first published. Lee’s publisher, Harper, plans to print an initial run of Go Set a Watchman of two million copies.

Find Benjamin Freed on Twitter, not making the same dumb Harper Lee joke as everyone else, at @brfreed.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.