As has been well-documented, our dearly beloved President-elect — the one with an ironic penchant for safe spaces — repeatedly took refuge during his election campaign in the proverbial locker room. Every time he did, I could not help but recall a semi-prescient New Yorker cover originally published back on June 1, 2015:
Now that the President-elect elected to select the unelectable Rick Perry to direct the Department of Energy — the very agency he infamously tried, and failed, to inform voters he would shut down if they made him President of these United States — I thought now might be a good opportunity to instruct the media on word choice.
There’s been a lot of finger-pointing about just who is most responsible for the rise of Trump, but there is at least one point of broad consensus: for too long, the GOP was afraid of attacking him, and his adversaries spent far too long tearing down one another instead.
On some level, their strategy was understandable: Trump was a punchline until he wasn’t, and so his rivals devoted most of their energy to jockeying for second place. Moreover, it’s unclear that any of their attacks would even stick. When Marco Rubio tried his hand at insult comedy, the results fell far short of spectacular.
But those considerations did not deter all his adversaries. Back in 2010, one five year-old girl issued a challenge to Donald Trump, nearly six years before any Republican candidate managed to accomplish the same feat:
[Editor’s note: I wrote this post a week ago. I promptly forgot to publish it. Rubio’s departure from the primary this evening simultaneously reminded me of its existence and rendered it obsolete. C’est la vie.]
Last week [Editor’s note: two weeks ago], in the immediate wake of Super Tuesday, The Daily Show put together a segment contrasting the Rubio campaign’s persistent optimism with Marco’s underwhelming performance in the Republican primaries so far:
Trevor Noah is not the first person to artlessly skewer Marco Rubio for being something of a sweaty guy. Indeed, Donald Trump noted it at least eight different ways a full year out from the 2016 election, and if Trump did it, you know he did it better and classier than it’s ever been done before, believe me.
I’ve published two attempts to touch up Presidential campaign logos, to decidedly mixed success. I’m still quite proud of my first effort, but the second was an unmitigated disaster. So it is with some trepidation that I tread once more in increasingly familiar waters.
But let’s be real — after I learned that Marco Rubio created an ad titled “Morning Again in America” (because “Make America Morning Again” is a phonetic disaster) using stock footage from Canada, well:
The New York Times isn’t the only news outlet that can’t write an accurate headline these days.
Morningly blog posts dedicated to recapping last night’s late night rank among my least favorite practices in passionate pursuit of page views. Ostensibly reputable websites should report on things that actually happen in the real world, not simply parrot what a few comedians had to say about it the night before.
Listen, I understand the motivation: pageviews. But is it really too much to ask that the pointless headlines generated in this way at least try and be accurate?
Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump for the Republican nomination today, but before that cataclysm came to pass, Jezebel managed to work in this doozy of a headline: Ted Cruz Is Deeply Afraid That Trump Might Land Coveted Sarah Palin Endorsement. As are we all, because we live in a world where said headline exists.
The article quoted the Cruz campaign’s communications director Rick Tyler, who told CNN: “I think it would be a blow to Sarah Palin, because Sarah Palin has been a champion of the conservative cause and if she was going to endorse Donald Trump, sadly she would be endorsing someone who’s held progressive views all their life on the sanctity of life, on marriage, on partial-birth abortion, he supported [the] TARP bailout — it goes on and on and on.”
On last night’s Nightly Show, Larry Wilmore took a few swings at Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, and one in particular failed to find its mark. Wilmore noted that Cruz announced his candidacy like so:
The following tweet needs no further introduction:
The Oatmeal took issue with this sentiment, and set out to explain what exactly Net Neutrality is, why it’s important, and why Ted Cruz is either ignorant or corrupt.
But I read Cruz’s original tweet quite differently than did Matthew Inman. And I think once we have a chance to take it apart, you might come to agree with my interpretation. (Fair warning: we’re about to get into the weeds, so please bear with me.)