While You Were Offline: We’re Goin’ All Mooch, All the Time

0
19

[ad_1]

I know I say this every week, but: what a week. It started with the President delivering such an inappropriate speech to Boy Scouts that it prompted an official apology from the Boy Scouts of America, and it ended with a Senate vote on healthcare that lasted until 1:30am, humiliated Senate leader Mitch McConnell and wound up with John McCain being lionized even though Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins really deserve the credit. With so much going on, you might be wondering what else could possibly have happened when you were doing such ludicrous, unnecessary things like sleeping; that’s where I come in. Friends, this is the highlight reel of the last seven days on the world wide web. I apologize in advance.

But Then Again I Was Waving Around A Bleeding Open Wound

What Happened: The White House earns its transparency badge by letting the world see the President of the United States try to bully his own Attorney General out of a job.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: The bromance—such as it was—between President Donald J. Trump and former senator turned U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is over. Sessions was one of Trump’s earliest supporters during primary season, but what is loyalty when you can’t bend the rule of law for a friend. During a conversation with The New York Times last week, Trump said he would have picked someone else for the position had he known that Sessions would recuse himself from the ongoing Russia investigation. This week, he stepped up the attacks on Sessions via Twitter:

Watching the President trying to bully his own A.G. into resigning was, unsurprisingly, something that didn’t go unnoticed by the the media at large, nor by Twitter:

Nor was Trump trying to humiliate Sessions on his own; he was putting batteries in the backs of his newest flunkies, as when director of communications Anthony Scaramucci made an appearance on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show (don’t worry, you’ll get to know The Mooch in more detail later):

Of course, at the other end of this was Jeff Sessions himself, who tried to distract himself with a little joy by removing LGBTQ protections. But how does it feel, knowing that your boss hates you so fervently?

If you’re wondering why Trump doesn’t just fire Sessions, it might be because people say things like this about the idea. Turns out you can only obstruct justice so much before some people get upset!

The Takeaway: Hey, remember when the First Lady said that she was going to work to stop cyber-bullying? That seems even more ironic now, doesn’t it?

Always Have A Bite To Bare

What Happened: Meanwhile, in nonsensical hatred news this week, the President announced that trans military personnel aren’t wanted anymore.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Remember that bit about Jeff Sessions removing LGBTQ protections this week? He might have been kissing up to his boss—homophobia and transphobia appear to be a running theme from the administration this week:

Setting military policy on Twitter is, as they say, not normal—let alone in such a bigoted, short-sighted way. (There are no official numbers for how many trans people are currently serving, but a recent study suggested as many as 15,500.) Trump’s tweets were again, unsurprisingly, taken seriously by the media, because it’s pretty extraordinary. Twitter, being Twitter, took more of a … subjective view of events:

As things stand currently, it’s not actually certain what will happen next. The Defense Department has seemingly put the brakes on the issue, while experts are already saying this won’t stand up in court (a scenario the ACLU has already promised). It’s just like the administration’s travel ban—and you know how well that worked out.
The Takeaway: Of course it’s about economics, right? …right?

I Don’t Feel Anything Until I Smash It Up

What Happened: When is a scandal not a scandal? When the new Director of Communications in the Trump administration has no idea what’s going on.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: I said that we’d get back to Anthony Scaramucci, didn’t I? The White House’s new communications director settled into his position this week by taking it easy and definitely not freaking out over a story that pointed out the ethical violations contained in his financial disclosure form. Wait, no, sorry, I had that utterly inverted: Once that story appeared, he sent out a (now deleted) tweet that read, “In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept #swamp @Reince45.” Well, that certainly sounds serious.

Indeed, the media was on this immediately, even as events were unfolding in real time on Twitter. For example, why was Reince Priebus tagged in the tweet?

Lizza, it would emerge later, had specific firsthand knowledge of what was going on, because he was on the phone with Scaramucci before the first tweet went out, having a conversation that can only be described as a must-read. I mean, that’s what everyone is saying. It must have been the genuinely impressive, almost Veep-level cursing that did it. It was so bad, in fact, that Scaramucci apologized for his language—and then blamed Lizza for reporting an on-the-record conversation. Again, this is the White House Director of Communications we’re talking about.

But back to that financial disclosure form. Someone inside the White House must have leaked that, right? Well. Maybe not.

Indeed, the reporter who wrote the original story confirmed that this wasn’t a leak at all:

No wonder Scaramucci deleted the original tweet. Surely, no one had noticed it.

Well, it could be worse. I mean, it’s not like he called in to a live TV show the next day and went on a wide-ranging rant or anything…

The Takeaway: On the plus side, it’s not as if this has turned what would otherwise be a relatively small scandal for this particular administration—yes, that’s seriously where things are right now—into a far bigger story.

I Sent It Via Pantomime

What Happened: The White House press office found someone to speak up for the President this week. Too bad no one believes he actually, y’know, exists.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Okay, sure. So things aren’t looking so great for the administration right now, what with the infighting and the hatred and the stupidity. But all is not lost! As the cameras were once again switched on in the Press Briefing Room, newly promoted press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders deployed a secret weapon to demonstrate how beloved the President really is.

Yes, the press briefing on Wednesday included a fan mail segment: Sanders shared a letter from 9-year-old Dylan, whose friends called him “Pickle.” Pickle loves the President. Twitter was less than impressed.

But, wait. Those names. Dylan? Pickle? Could it be…?

Let’s just say that the media seemed similarly cynical about the whole thing. Indeed, it took a Washington Post story to confirm that Dylan is real. But the real question is, did Trump actually write back to Dylan himself, and if so, what did he say?

The Takeaway: As the #DylanTruther movement washed across the internet, there’s one thing we should all be asking: When will the White House release the real letter?

These Idea of Mine Percolate The Mind

What Happened: Rounding out a running theme this week—a Mooch-tif, if you will—here’s one last Anthony Scaramucci story. One week in, and he’s already the gift that keeps on giving.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter
What Really Happened: When you become a political figure these days, your Twitter history immediately receives new scrutiny, as people look for ironic or amusing past statements. Or, in the case of this five-year-old tweet from White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci, inspirational quotes.

Just one problem: Mark Twain didn’t say that. No, really; William Purkey did. And, even if Scaramucci didn’t know that, it turns out that everyone on Twitter did, leading to some amazing responses:

Some people, meanwhile, reversed the meme for a different effect.

Now, is this kind of cheap humor about a five-year-old tweet fair? Maybe not, but in everyone’s defense, this is what happens when you announce that you’re deleting your old tweets.

The Takeaway: Okay, okay. One last one. Just because.

[ad_2]

Source link