It’s maybe a sign of the impending apocalypse that is the US presidential election, but it’s been a very political week online. And it’s not just America that’s getting the attention. In the UK, Brexit is impacting what’s on sale in supermarkets, and in Nigeria the president is saying ridiculously sexist things. Whatever happened to random, light-hearted yuks, and will we ever be able to get back to them? While you ponder that important question, here are some things you might have missed over the past week—most of which include Donald Trump. Sorry, all.
Like Donald Trump, Godzilla Would Like His Shackles Off
What Happened: If you looked at Donald Trump and thought, “You know, I might like him better if he wasn’t shackled,” then this was apparently your lucky week.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter
What Really Happened: As Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump found himself at odds, yet again, with members of the GOP establishment at the start of the week, he did what everyone expected him to—post a surreal tweet that boasted of his strength and power that seemed almost self-parodic.
It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2016
Thankfully, Twitter knew exactly how to respond to this message. Namely, offer up suggestions of who else might have said such a thing:
“It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.” pic.twitter.com/KcR2GHIBjn
— 👻 Katherine Webb 🎃 (@prufrox) October 11, 2016
It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to. pic.twitter.com/k2rgzjYpIn
— Super Deluxe (@superdeluxe) October 11, 2016
It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to. pic.twitter.com/yEnO7cNy8K
— Internet, Eh? (@InternetEh) October 11, 2016
“It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.” pic.twitter.com/Bhpkpxedo1
— Matt Loman (@MattLoman) October 11, 2016
The Takeaway: Of course, it would be an error to think that unshackled would be the final transformation…
“It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.” pic.twitter.com/9dd52RjC5I
— Iwan Berry (@iwan_j_berry) October 11, 2016
Wait, Repeal the What Now?
What Happened: Supporters of the Republican presidential candidate have a new theory about how to win the election: deny women the right to vote.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Nate Silver, who loves numbers like Kylo Ren loves smushed headwear, wrote a column this week revealing that, were only men to vote in the upcoming presidential election, Donald Trump would win by a surprisingly high margin. A sign, perhaps, that it’s a good thing that all genders have the vote, there was a certain section of the Internet who felt otherwise:
— 1984 is here (@bakedsfangirl) October 11, 2016
Repeal the 19th? you’re asking yourself. The 19th what? That would be the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920 and gave women the right to vote in the United States. That’s right; people are calling for women to be stripped of their rights in order for the election to turn out the way they want.
We could avoid such unhappy and divisive controversies if we just #Repealthe19th. Together we can do it. https://t.co/qTnN4boV01
— Squelephant (@jonpalin) October 11, 2016
@emmaroller men should never have given women the right to vote #RepealThe19th
— Haunted Holly 🔥✝️🔥 (@HollyAnswers) October 11, 2016
I would be willing to give up my right to vote to make this happen #repealthe19th https://t.co/vndQu9dKFP
— CT Christian 4 Trump (@TracyOgrodnik) October 12, 2016
Unsurprisingly, this caught the attention of the media. Equally unsurprisingly, it caught the attention of plenty of other people on Twitter:
so in the year 2016 #repealthe19th is a real thing in the united states of america. i want to vomit
— Karmakaze’s ghost (@KarmaKaze7) October 12, 2016
#repealthe19th is literally all you need to know about Trump supporters. pic.twitter.com/rrBpIAqVon
— Brenna Clarke Gray (@brennacgray) October 12, 2016
#RepealThe19th is trending but they’re offended when they get called deplorable. K. pic.twitter.com/4dGjqrblPP
— Capt. Morgan (@SailorJerry_) October 12, 2016
The irony is this; it didn’t actually become a Trending Topic on Twitter until it was being used by those arguing against the hashtag. On the plus side, that means that far more people are against the idea than for it, which is something. Right?
The Takeaway: More than one person came up with the following suggestion for an alternative to repealing the 19th Amendment. It’s not that bad an idea, considering the evidence.
How about instead of #repealthe19th we only let women vote for the next 131 years so we’re all even
— Sam (@Samandjunk) October 12, 2016
In Which the Internet Learns to Love a Lawyer
What Happened: Against all odds and the general public perception of his chosen career, the general counsel for the New York Times might have won the Internet this week.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: It started with a report from the New York Times about two women who claimed that Donald Trump had, as the headline put it, “touched them inappropriately”—something that the Republican presidential nominee stated very clearly he had never done during last weekend’s debate.
In response, this happened:
Trump campaign just released this letter from his lawyers demanding a full retraction/apology from the New York Times. pic.twitter.com/QobvFbCllb
— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) October 13, 2016
That led to this reply from the Times’ general counsel, David E. McCraw, which pushed back against allegations of libel in the most wonderful way. “The essence of a libel claim, of course, is the protection of one’s reputation,” McCraw writes at one point. “Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created.” The letter ends with, “If Mr. Trump disagrees, if he believes that American citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would dare to criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight.”
The New York Times replies to Trump’s threat. Insert fire emoji here. pic.twitter.com/5BE71kgzt1
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) October 13, 2016
So it turns out the New York Times’ best columnist is actually its general counsel. https://t.co/tIkSPt46Oi
— Alex Koppelman (@AlexKoppelman) October 13, 2016
How about now we do a hip-hop musical about that rad New York Times lawyer
— DanaSe Macabre (@DanaSchwartzzz) October 13, 2016
New York Times sent @realDonaldTrump’s lawyers a letter basically saying – “Come at me bro, we live for this!”
— Jermaine Spradley (@MrSpradley) October 13, 2016
It turns out, the Times has good reason to be so bold; if Trump does sue, the discovery process of the lawsuit could allow the Times to find out all manner of misdeeds Trump might have committed. As MSNBC’s chief legal correspondent Ari Melber put it:
Deadline for criminal charges has passed for new allegations vs Trump, per state & fed law;
but if he sues NYT, same issues end up in court
— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) October 13, 2016
As of this writing, the Trump campaign has made no further moves to litigate this particular case.
The Takeaway: But back, for a second, to NYT counsel David E. McCraw. Could be there’s another very good reason to believe that he’s won the Internet.
Now everybody’s loving NYT lawyer @DavidMcCraw because of his Trump letter, but I already knew he was a genius, because he has ZERO TWEETS
— Matthew Schneier (@MatthewSchneier) October 13, 2016
How to Win and Lose the World in One Week Or Less
What Happened: Meet Kenneth Bone. He’s about to learn the upside—and downside—to interacting with the Internet.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: When we think about the half-life of an Internet meme, perhaps we should ponder the case of one Ken Bone. One of the “undecided voters” who spoke at the debate Sunday night, he was quickly declared the winner of the night, because… well, he looked cute and kind of like a cartoon character, to be honest. (Plus, that name!) The Internet couldn’t help itself but embrace him, and it didn’t even try. For example, take a look at the #KenBoneFacts hashtag, just one of multiple Bone-related memes flying around after the debate:
Ken Bone is the guy that hid a chair under the ring to hit his opponent with later #KenBoneFacts
— Joe Kelly (@SuburbsJoe) October 10, 2016
Ken Bone is a playable character in Wreck-It-Ralph. #KenBone #KenBoneFacts pic.twitter.com/tbWAhbwP4G
— Adam T. Music (@MusicAdamT) October 10, 2016
When Ken Bone cries, each tear that hits the ground becomes a new, concerned, well-informed American voter. #KenBoneFacts @midnight
— Richard Jeter (@MilesToGo13) October 10, 2016
Bone himself was eager to play along, signing up for Twitter and joining in on the jokes:
It was my wife, and yes. https://t.co/j8OZxHU7TQ
— Ken Bone (@kenbone18) October 10, 2016
He also signed up to hype UberSelect, a move that lost him some fans when he tweeted out his first endorsement. (Never mind the fact that it might have been illegal to do so, which might explain why the tweet no longer exists.)
You’ve gotta be kidding me… Ken Bone has already sold out… https://t.co/g9Gyjj922k
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) October 13, 2016
A guy Internet-famous for wearing a bright sweater is getting VC money to advertise a service to you
— Alex Fitzpatrick (@AlexJamesFitz) October 13, 2016
Oh, but wait; things got worse when it turned out that Bone had a history of making unfortunate comments on Reddit over the last few years.
Of course, the knives were soon out.
The media may have failed on practically every issue of consequence this election but they really came through on Ken Bone being problematic
— Leonard Pierce (@leonardpierce) October 14, 2016
Fascinating. Ken Bone has gone through all the stages of celebrity in just ONE WEEK! Discovery! Meme! Chat Show! Merchandise! Backlash! https://t.co/qOGGSOy3SP
— Greg Jenner (@greg_jenner) October 14, 2016
there is a somewhat important election coming and media organizations have assigned reporters to look at ken bone’s old reddit comments
— Logan Dobson (@LoganDobson) October 14, 2016
Oh, Ken. We hardly knew you…
The Takeaway: If there’s one upside of the whole thing, perhaps it’s the cheap jokes that can be made.
ken bone no longer undecided on the whole “twitter comes for everyone eventually”
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) October 14, 2016
I’ll Take Losers For $500, Alex
What Happened: Alex Trebek, who knew you had quite such a cruel streak in you?
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Look, there’s no way around it: Jeopardy host Alex Trebek is a hardcore meanie. Don’t believe us? Just watch this:
Yoooooooo, Alex Trebek is the coldest dude in the game, lololololol. I’m dying laughing. @DragonflyJonez @LaJethroJenkins pic.twitter.com/IwI85r83zY
— FATTLDI (@TerrellDidThis) October 12, 2016
While Trebek’s comments briefly made Jeopardy viral again, Twitter wasn’t quite sure whether it was impressed or appalled by the exchange:
Imagine finally passing the Jeopardy test and becoming a contestant and showing up and then Trebek’s all like “LOOK AT THIS LOSER.”
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) October 13, 2016
This is what I’m talking about. Alex Trebek will shit on your whole existence with a hearty smug grin. https://t.co/RFGmEISHFW
— brock (@brockdaul) October 13, 2016
Alex Trebek has been fed up for like 2 years and I love it.
— Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) October 13, 2016
TREBEK: and wat do u do for fun
ME: i watch jeopardy
TREBEK: HA. NERD. U NERD. WHY
ME: bc i love u alex
TREBEK: WHY. why…wwhy
ME: whoa ru ok
— jomny sun (@jonnysun) October 14, 2016
This could start a whole new thing for game show hosts looking to insult Internet-friendly subcultures in the hope of reminding people that their show is still on the air. Quick! Someone get Pat Sajak an attendee of DashCon so that he can talk about ball pits!
The Takeaway: Of course, just because Alex Trebek isn’t a fan doesn’t mean that nerdcore is ready to take the insult lying down. Welcome to the next big, pointless, online beef:
To: Alex Trebek
Subject: #Losers pic.twitter.com/9mmBKYDm7g
— Mega Ran on TOUR (@MegaRan) October 14, 2016
Go Back to Top. Skip To: Start of Article.