While You Were Offline: Never Ask Twitter to Explain ‘Easy D’

Let’s get the big stuff out of the way first. Yes, Betsy DeVos got confirmed as Secretary of Education–and proceeded to ask a question that really offended teachers. Oh, and a White House national security advisor might’ve discussed plans for international diplomacy with Russian ambassadors. There was also that bit about the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denying a request to reinstate President Trump’s travel ban. But that’s just the news. Out on the internet, there are other issues to ponder. Like, for example, what’s “Easy D”? Or, can the Streisand effect impact on the Senate floor? While you’ve been trying to keep your eyes off the world wide web, here are just some of the things that you might have missed.

Grade D Beef

What Happened: Memo to the President of the United States: Not everyone uses the same lingo as you do, sir.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: It all started, as so many things on social media do these days, with a tweet from President Donald Trump, complaining about legal challenges to his travel ban:

It should be… what? While self-proclaimed experts immediately tried to suggest that “EASY D” actually meant “easy decision,” Twitter was both unconvinced and wildly confused by what had just happened.

It wasn’t just Twitter; the rest of the internet couldn’t quite get over what was going on, either. The undoubted highlight of the extended coverage was the discovery of a French musician whose name is actually Easy D; turns out, he’s not a Trump supporter, however.
The Takeaway: Meanwhile, it emerged that Trump might have just been displaying a surprising depth of knowledge about a hip-hop great, as unlikely as it seems. Benefit of the doubt, right?

‘See You in Court! Oh, You’re There Already? My Bad.’

What Happened: President Trump had the perfect zinger for his administration’s latest legal setback. There was just one problem with it.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Speaking of the legal challenge to Trump’s travel ban, the president came up against another hurdle on Thursday when the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled against restoring the ban in response to a federal appeal against last week’s injunction. Trump’s response was immediate, and in ALL CAPS for emphasis:

I mean, who could blame him for the all caps? This was big news, and his tweet was an important part of that.

There was only one problem. “See you in court” is a really odd thing to say in response to a legal decision.

On the plus side, at least now it’s clear the president is aware of where the story will continue from this point forward. It would have been far more worrying if he had tweeted “I’M NOT LISTENING NYAH NYAH NYAH,” to be honest.

The Takeaway: The decision of the three California judges, meanwhile, prompted this perfectly snarky subtweet from Hillary Clinton:

Nevertheless, She Persisted

What Happened: In forcing Senator Elizabeth Warren to stop talking, Senate Republicans unleashed a firestorm on social media.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Amidst a heated Senate debate on whether or not to confirm Jeff Sessions as attorney general, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell shut down Elizabeth Warren while she was reading from a letter about Sessions from Corretta Scott King. The letter from the activist and wife of Martin Luther King Jr. was written in 1986 to object to Sessions’ nomination for a federal judgeship, and, according to McConnell, reading it violated Rule 19 of the Senate, which disallows “impugning” another senator. McConnell then asked for a vote to bar Warren from speaking for the remainder of the debate.

While he got the vote, and Warren was effectively gagged during the debate, in doing so he created a new subset of the growing resistance against the ruling Republican elite, complete with ready-made slogan, as both #neverthelessshepersisted and #shepersisted were swiftly adopted online as phrases that perfectly described women standing against bigotry and oppression:

The swift adoption of McConnell’s own words as a rallying cry for his opponents was not something that went unnoticed by the media. Or, for that matter, corporations: Reebok quickly released its own “Nevertheless, She Persisted” shirt before the end of the week. Consider this the sign of a movement.
The Takeaway: While some consider this whole thing a strange but smart piece of political maneuvering from McConnell, it, nevertheless, persists.

Nordstrom Tweetstorm

What Happened: Meanwhile, President Trump responded to Nordstrom dropping his daughter’s fashion line for poor sales.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Some might think that, given everything on his plate this week, President Trump would be focused on court cases and confirmation hearings. Surely he was, but on Wednesday morning, he was also focused on this:

Yes, the most important thing on the president’s mind at the time was that Nordstrom had decided to pull Ivanka Trump’s reportedly low-selling line from its stores. This went over well on Twitter–

–and was only slightly (OK, significantly) picked up by the media.

As if to prove that the administration could always make things worse, Kellyanne Conway hit the press circuit the next day to address the issue:

Rather than putting the issue to bed, Conway’s comments turned the story into a far bigger deal, with Republicans signaling that they might investigate Conway’s endorsement. (For its part, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Conway had been “counseled” after the comments, although President Trump reportedly thought that was unfair.)
The Takeaway: This will all surely blow over, right? Oh, wait:

50 Shades Dorkier

What Happened: When Super Bowl ads get kinky, the internet gets embarrassed for everyone.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Is hasn’t been all politics this week. There was also the surreal sight of seeing cellphone carriers get into a social media kerfuffle about bondage. No, really; it all started with T-Mobile’s Super Bowl promotion, featuring Kristen Schaal:

OK, so maybe it didn’t appeal to everyone…

…but Schaal played along:

Which turned out to be a problem:

Well, that’s embarrassing. How could Verizon regain some credibility? It had an idea.

Reaction to this surreal Twitter feud was mixed, to say the least:

While the tiff got picked up by the media, it’s hard to see who really came out on top. (See what we did there?)
The Takeaway: This pretty much sums it up:

2 Comments

  1. Marcel*** February 17, 2017
  2. Cesar February 17, 2017

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