In a week where sexual harassment allegations against powerful men continued to come to light and the situation continues to be dire in Puerto Rico, people have been turning to old traditions to keep their spirits high: Halloween, Stranger Things, and wondering what in the world is actually going with Taylor Swift right now. Well, it’s that or wondering what in the world is happening in Spain, but that’s not entirely uplifting. And those tidbits are just the beginning. Here’s everything else the internet was talking about over the last seven days.
Coming Soon, But Not That Soon
What Happened: The first rule of show business is: Never over-promise on something you can’t deliver. Last week, the president might’ve forgotten to apply the first rule of show business.
What Really Happened: Last weekend, President Trump sent out a tweet that (probably) no one saw coming.
The announcement seemed to come out of the blue, but as soon as it did it grabbed a lot of media attention. There was one detail, though, that Trump hadn’t mentioned—namely, that the release of the files wasn’t Trump’s doing, but something that President George H.W. Bush scheduled 25 years ago. But that didn’t matter to a lot of folks, who saw this tweet as a sign that Trump was, indeed, draining the swamp as promised.
Those who didn’t count themselves amongst Trump’s faithful were … a little less impressed.
Nonetheless, Trump did his best to play up the show, ensuring that people didn’t forget what was coming with this tweet the day before:
So, what happened? Well, not exactly what was promised, it turns out.
The Takeaway: Actually, speaking of transparency…
The Picture of Donald Trump
What Happened: Well, if there’s one thing last week taught everyone it’s “ask a silly question, get a nonsensical answer.”
What Really Happened: So, last week someone in the media asked President Trump if he thought he ought to act more civil. He replied that he was—but the media didn’t present him that way.
Let’s file this one under “people are unconvinced,” yes?
The Takeaway: Say what you like about Trump, he’s certainly offering his fair share of quotable lines. Just look at them in context of some other presidential greatest hits!
Immigration Status Updates
What Happened: Meanwhile, in more serious news, the internet got very upset last week over developments in US authorities’ approach to immigration issues, particularly those involving kids.
What Really Happened: Last week the increasingly ugly battle over immigration in the US saw two of its ugliest battles yet. First, there was a teen immigrant from Central America who was blocked from having an abortion by the Trump administration. (She had the abortion on Wednesday after a weeks-long legal battle.) Then, there was … this:
However, not everyone was outraged. Some even saw what was going on as a good thing.
The Takeaway: And, sure; there’s a case to be made that this is just what happens when you have an immigration policy that cares about the law and not individual cases. At least there’s nothing that demonstrates that isn’t the case, except that President Trump has apparently intervened to keep a Chinese dissident from being deported, because he’s a Mar-a-Lago member. Occasionally, real life is stranger than fiction.
Ceci N’est Pas CNN
What Happened: CNN wants you to believe your eyes, and not pay attention to any men behind the curtain. Not everyone is on board with that advice.
What Really Happened: First, the news.
—to those who were unconvinced—
—and then, there were those whose predilections were entirely in the other direction…
Nonetheless, as an ad campaign it definitely worked; everyone seemed to be talking about it, even if they were only doing so in the context of their new parody version.
Mission … accomplished?
The Takeaway: For those who weren’t sure they were on board with the message, perhaps the problem was that the ad just didn’t go far enough?
Come Together, Right Now, Over Rex
What Happened: Rex Tillerson offered up hope for a broken world. Kind of.
What Really Happened: When the internet can’t agree on whether children should be deported while recovering from surgery or even whether an apple is, indeed, an apple, it’s worth wondering if their shared reality is utterly broken. Are people all in such bubbles now that they can’t agree on anything? Well, apparently, there is one thing everyone can go along with. And it’s not what you might expect.
Yes, Rex Tillerson vocalized the one thing nearly everyone managed to agree on last week.
Tillerson’s comments also went viral in mainstream media, proving even more that the desire to curl up in a ball is the one thing that brings everyone together. Sure, it’s not the best of shared experiences, but it’s a start, right? This is the turning point! Right here!