This week’s installment of bad tweets has a heavy dose of surprise Mueller press conference influence—with the offenders being major figures in our political and media establishment—and we now can say we officially have a weekly slot for right-wing grifters going full galaxy brain. There’s just too many of them who are all too willing to give us a look inside their very internet-poisoned minds. Let’s kick this off with perhaps our strongest 2nd place finisher for Bad Tweet of the Week yet.
CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent is very lucky that we have a doozy of a worst tweet this week, otherwise this would take the cake.
!!!! “Charging the president with a crime is not an option we could consider” – Mueller makes clear it was not the evidence but the DOJ policy that precluded an indictment. This is huge.— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) May 29, 2019
Why is this “!!!” “huge” tweet so incredibly bad? Because it seems to indicate that CNN's Chief National Security Correspondent did not read the Mueller Report. Nothing Robert Mueller said in his surprise press conference was new. This passage came three paragraphs into Mueller's section on obstruction of justice, on page 213:
Given the role of the Special Counsel as an attorney in the Department of Justice and the framework of the Special Counsel regulations, this Office accepted OLC's legal conclusion for the purpose of exercising prosecutorial jurisdiction.
The OLC legal conclusion Mueller is referring to is simply this one sentence: “The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.” This right here is where Mueller (hypocritically) said in his weeks-old report that charging the president with a crime is not an option they could consider.
Again, this is CNN's Chief National Security Correspondent reacting to old news as shocking new news. Sciutto covering the reaction to the Mueller Report without reading the Mueller Report is a perfect demonstration of how the product produced by our major media is far more entertainment than journalism.
Navy Chief of Information
This tweet isn't what is bad, but the timing of it. This government account had not tweeted in six years before reactivating in the wake of the Wall Street Journal's absolutely bananas report that Trump's advisors wanted the USS John McCain “out of sight” when he visited Japan. WSJ reported (and was confirmed by both the New York Times and The Washington Post) that the USS John McCain had its name hidden by a tarp (and later a larger ship parked in front of it), and the crew who walks around bearing the name of their ship was given the day off, among other taxpayer-funded shenanigans designed entirely to avoid angering our big boy president's Faberge egg-like fragile ego. After six years of silence, this Navy account just so happened to reactivate after this report about the Navy came to light.
The name of USS John S. McCain was not obscured during the POTUS visit to Yokosuka on Memorial Day. The Navy is proud of that ship, its crew, its namesake and its heritage.— Navy Chief of Information (@chinfo) May 30, 2019
The “new guy” behind this Twitter account even acknowledged how illegitimate their semi-denial of the report looked.
Fair enough. I have only been in this job less than a week. This is not how I had planned to reactivate the CHINFO twitter account…— Navy Chief of Information (@chinfo) May 30, 2019
Given that nearly all other government Twitter accounts have turned in to Trump propaganda outlets, and our president has the emotional stability of a small child on bath salts, there is absolutely no reason to believe that this is anything but exactly what it looks like.
I try not to get all high-and-mighty about any knowledge of history that I have. I studied political science in college, and so I am aware of a lot of historical events that most people who did not study history are not, and the general lack of historical knowledge amongst the populace is reflective of a failure by our educational system to teach it, not on the personal decisions made by the populace. A lot of things have been blamed for Trump's election, but liberal snobbery is right near the top, and we all need to be more aware of it.
But come on, man. You're a major publication.
Ukraine borders Poland, which borders Germany. The Sun is an English publication. While Americans may have a fuzzy memory of a cataclysmic nuclear meltdown that occurred 5,000 miles away and 32 years ago, it literally happened in Europe's backyard. That The Sun feels the need to remind people that this new hit TV show is based off a fairly recent and massively destructive historical event that will reverberate throughout the rest of mankind's time on this planet reveals either how dumb The Sun is or how stupid they think their readers are.
I have been doing this column gimmick for a little over a month now, and I have found that it is basically a lock that a right-wing grifter, I mean, media personality, will make this list every week. Dave Rubin claims to be a classical liberal, but his programming is straight right-wing looney tunes—as he has hosted conspiracy theorists like Mike Cernovich and InfoWars's Paul Joseph Watson, and open white nationalists like Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern. Because most of conservative politics is fundamentally centered around a personal grievance complex, the notion that conservatives are being “shadowbanned” has taken off on the right. The White House even has a hotline for it now. This is the exact same playbook conservatives used against the mainstream media in the 1990s, instead they're directing it at Facebook, Twitter and YouTube now.
Except this. This is out of the 1990s playbook, but it lacks the competency of past attacks, and instead has a sweaty desperation to it that exposes the tragically comedic soul of Rubin's whole shtick.
A crazy amount of anonymous accounts keep telling me to fuck myself, how much they hate me, and that I should do my show the way they demand. This is obviously at least partially coordinated and I already have some evidence. Any thoughts, @jack@TwitterSupport?— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) May 30, 2019
Click on the tweet to open Twitter. You'll never guess what the most common reply is.
For those who are new to this weekly recap: the relative power of the poster is taken into account here. We are only punching up (except for the very most extreme of cases), and the more powerful the poster, the more likely they are to become this column's kicker as the Bad Tweet of the Week. Starting where we began: ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the Louisiana Attorney General's interpretation of Robert Mueller's surprise press conference this week.
Because apparently this obvious reality needs to be stated for some chief lawmen in this country: President Trump was not put on trial by Robert Mueller. He was investigated. After getting ratioed to high heaven for a day, the Attorney General came back with another ham-handed tweet that poorly attempted to clarify his dramatic misunderstanding of how the justice system that he oversees really works.
Let me be CRYSTAL CLEAR!@stephgracela and the rest of the liberals should respect that in this country you are innocent until proven guilty! Therefore the failure to gather evidence sufficient to charge @POTUS means that @realdoandtrump is innocent!— Jeff Landry (@JeffLandry) May 30, 2019
If Paste politics had a thesis, it would be that Trump is not an aberration, and is in fact the logical destination of where our politics have been headed since the 1960s. This is why it is so important that we set our sights higher than just electing anyone because we think they can beat Trump. There are major structural issues underlying each and every millimeter of this country—like freaking state attorney generals who can’t tell the difference between an investigation and a trial—and unless we address the ongoing emergencies that led to Trump, we will soon be dealing with another, more competent Trumpian authoritarian.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.