A rise in divisive politics has created tension around the globe, as factions from both sides of the political aisle clash over their beliefs. That has extended to the press covering the political scene, who have been caught in crossfire of an angry electorate and the candidates representing them.

One reporter appeared as though he might have been the latest victim of such an attack. Michael Tracey, a journalist for The Young Turks, questioned legendary Representative Maxine Waters outside an event in Los Angeles. He initially claimed he was shoved by Waters when he tried to question her.

Rep. Maxine Waters just shoved me and angrily stormed off as I asked her questions. (Not a violent shove but she initiated physical contact)

— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) June 3, 2017

You can watch for yourself shortly -- the questions were reasonable. Extremely suspect for a member of Congress to shove anybody.

— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) June 3, 2017

At first, social media was ready to take his claim seriously. But the video hit Twitter soon after he called her actions "erratic" and "unprofessional," and they made things a whole lot worse for Tracey.

Here's the full @MaxineWaters @mtracey interview. Sensitive viewers, you are warned. pic.twitter.com/gyU2pw6FdD

— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) June 3, 2017

Once Twitter saw that Waters simply pushed his mic out of her face, rather than "shoving" him, they let loose a barrage of parodies related to his claim, comparing the event to recurring gags you might see in a Looney Tunes cartoon.

I stand with michael tracey. nobody should have a piano dropped on their head such that they stumble out of the wreckage with keys for teeth

— shrill 🇺🇸🌲🏀 (@theshrillest) June 4, 2017

Absolutely wild that Maxine Waters handed Michael Tracy that bouquet of flowers that turned out to be lit dynamite

— Lani (@lrush16) June 4, 2017

Maxine Waters chased him off the edge of a cliff then pointed down to make him realize that he was no longer standing on ground, and he fell

— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) June 4, 2017

Thoughts and prayers for Michael Tracey, who was tragically propelled off a cliff after Maxine Waters tied dynamite to his roller skates.

— Julia Paras (@juliaWELPparas) June 4, 2017

can't believe maxine waters painted a cliffside to look like a tunnel that michael tracey drove into

— andrew tabach (@andrewtabs) June 4, 2017

I'm humiliated for you.

— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) June 3, 2017

Don't let it get lost that Michael Tracey's question to Maxine Waters just before she stomped on his balls was dumb as hell.

— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) June 3, 2017

pic.twitter.com/yDmI7pmSRk

— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) June 4, 2017

If you're going to accuse a 78-year-old Congresswoman of "shoving" you and this tape is the best you have, you'd be a lot better off just deleting that tweet you had prepared and moving on. Instead, Tracey turned a non-event into an attempt to discredit a woman whose reputation dates back decades, and his own reputation suffered as a result.

There's a lesson here, kids—understand the consequences of what you say, and especially understand them when you know the footage is out there.