Look, last week’s news cycle spun a lot faster than most. Like Ludicrous Speed fast. You’d be forgiven if you spent so much time following the latest developments you didn’t have time to actually check social media to see how people were responding to them. Fear not, we read Twitter so you don’t have to. Friends, readers, countryfolk, lend us your eyes. Here’s what you might have missed from the last week’s worth of internetting.
Sean Spicer Is a Homer Simpson GIF, Basically
What Happened: The Washington Post wants to tell you that, not only does democracy die in darkness, but White House press secretaries hide in bushes.
What Really Happened: So, the President Donald Trump fired the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for reasons that, as CNN put it, totally unraveled. The official reason when the White House announced the move was that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested it based on FBI chief James Comey’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Two days later, the president went on TV and said he was going to fire Comey even without Rosenstein’s recommendation. But let’s go back to Monday night when the media wanted to know more about the shock firing. Where was White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer during all of this?
“Turn the lights off.” Last night, Sean Spicer stood outside in the darkness and tried to explain Trump’s decision: https://t.co/Y98PQqAJeg
— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) May 10, 2017
Yes, as revealed by an Is this for real? story in the Washington Post, it turned out that Spicer was literally in the weeds while the Comey news was breaking. As the story put it, “After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the darkness and among the bushes near these sets, Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so. Spicer then emerged. ‘Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off,’ he ordered. ‘We’ll take care of this. … Can you just turn that light off?’ Spicer got his wish and was soon standing in near darkness between two tall hedges, with more than a dozen reporters closely gathered around him.”
Twitter, as you might expect, wasn’t going to let this pass unremarked upon.
this gif is overused, but in light of sean spicer in the bushes…. pic.twitter.com/FnLfVL1QYK
— marisa kabas (@MarisaKabas) May 10, 2017
Sean Spicer is hiding in bushes from the press pic.twitter.com/UQTlt2Glpu
— Allison Kilkenny (@allisonkilkenny) May 10, 2017
“After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in bushes…” You guys, SNL is gonna be soooooo good this week. https://t.co/aCmcXXUic6
— Amy Berg (@bergopolis) May 10, 2017
Today’s Sean Spicer press briefing. pic.twitter.com/NLBGQk28QP
— John Cohen (@JohnCohen1) May 10, 2017
.@seanspicer you: 🎥 🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🙈🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳
— Melville House (@melvillehouse) May 10, 2017
found this photo of sean spicer hiding between the bushes pic.twitter.com/YZOMCOvHZC
— David Mack (@davidmackau) May 10, 2017
Still, at least it didn’t become a story by itself. Oh. Never mind.
The Takeaway: It should be noted that the WaPo quote above comes from the corrected version of the story; the first version had said that Spicer was hiding in the bushes, but someone at the White House complained that he wasn’t hiding, he was merely standing quietly right next to the bushes, which is apparently better.
Missed Photo Ops
What Happened: President Trump took a meeting with Russian officials that was closed to the media—well, most of the media.
What Really Happened: The day after the president fired the FBI director who was leading an investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, he spoke with Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the White House in a meeting that was closed to the press. Well, in a meeting that the White House said was closed to the press.
2 photos of Trump in the Oval Office with Russian FM Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak. They’re from the Russians. Nothing from White House yet. pic.twitter.com/s8BSYDGn62
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 10, 2017
— Caroline Mala Corbin (@CarolineMCorbin) May 10, 2017
Russia takes happy fun time pictures in White House & celebrates their victory in US election – US media not invited in their own country pic.twitter.com/cuYttK8xRS
— Clint Watts (@selectedwisdom) May 10, 2017
— Andrew Trabulsi (@andrewtrabulsi) May 11, 2017
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) May 11, 2017
As the photos began to circulate online, word got out that the White House didn’t seem to know that the Russian photographer was press, which really speaks well to the level of background checks one has to go through before being allowed into the Oval Office these days.
WH furious over Russian government photos of Trump meeting with Lavrov/Kislyak. “They tricked us,” an official said of Russians “They lie.”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 11, 2017
Lavrov photo scandal actually a point for the “innocent” Trump-Russia explanation. He and his people are dumb enough to be unwitting stooges
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) May 11, 2017
If the Trump White House was outmaneuvered by Russia INSIDE the White House… https://t.co/DC6ceIYaIU
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) May 11, 2017
Of course, some people weren’t bothered about this at all:
“Trump Bars U.S. Press”
Time to read the First Amendment.
NOWHERE does it say the press is guaranteed entry into the White House.
— TrumpNation (@nurserenee1) May 11, 2017
The Takeaway: It’s 2017, if you’re a politician and you pose for a photo, just presume that it’ll end up on the internet.
What Happened: Things are looking very serious and grim for President Trump. Could we have a good old-fashioned unforced error to bring things back to Earth, please? He’s claiming to have coined the phrase “prime the pump”? That’ll do nicely.
What Really Happened: During an interview with The Economist President Trump said he came up with the phrase “prime the pump” just “a couple of days ago.” Naturally, the internet was ready to fact-check that.
.@TheEconomist among other highlights: Trump claims to have invented the expression “prime the pump”
— Anne Applebaum (@anneapplebaum) May 11, 2017
— Patches Chance (@patcheschance) May 11, 2017
Trump says he came up with “Prime the Pump” a few days ago. https://t.co/1FG2JyFrGp
— Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) May 11, 2017
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) May 11, 2017
Trump tells Economist that last week he invented phrase “prime the pump” https://t.co/4pKYYN55W2
I just invented phrase “God save us all” pic.twitter.com/5IRdUAKIdU
— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) May 11, 2017
Luckily for Trump, this never really hit the mainstream media. That would’ve just been embarrassing, what with everything else going on. Whoops, spoke too soon.
The Takeaway: You know, Trump attempted to trademark “you’re fired!” in 2004. Guess he tried to score before, several years ago.
Nevertheless, She Persisted
What Happened: The internet loves Sally Yates.
What Really Happened: Let’s return to the beginning of the week, back when America’s turmoil was less pronounced. Back when former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee and everyone got pretty pumped about it.
— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) May 8, 2017
#SallyYates looks tanned, rested and ready to expose treason.
— Karen DaltonBeninato (@kbeninato) May 8, 2017
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) May 8, 2017
Yates tells White House their National Security Adviser is compromised and open to Russian blackmail.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) May 8, 2017
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) May 8, 2017
— Andrea Chalupa (@AndreaChalupa) May 8, 2017
— Navah Wolfe (@navahw) May 8, 2017
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) May 8, 2017
— WI Bobbi (@bjeangreen) May 8, 2017
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) May 8, 2017
— Karintha Styles (@ReignofStyles) May 8, 2017
So, she’s a hit, then.
The Takeaway: How best to describe the glee people felt watching the Yates testimony?
This is like WWE for nerds #SallyYates
— Nicole Schuman🍕 (@Buffalogal) May 8, 2017
Yep, that pretty much covers it.
TFW You DM an Ex in Paris
What Happened: Folks responded to the recent French presidential election by reaching out and direct messaging someone. Sort of.
What Really Happened: News from Europe: Centerist Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election, getting a decisive victory over the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. For many, it was seen as a hopeful sign that nationalism and far-right extremism was not quite on the rise to the extent it had been feared, but not everyone took it that way.
DM’d an ex in Paris, “What the fuck have you idiots done?” She said this, pic.twitter.com/84TpR9bxzn
— Gavin McInnes (@Gavin_McInnes) May 9, 2017
The tweet sparked a flurry of responses, of course. To the clown-mobile, Twitter!
DM’d an ex in Paris, “What the fuck have you idiots done?” She said this, pic.twitter.com/8ANZT4T8xz
— l33t bharara (@FanSince09) May 9, 2017
just dm’d an ex in paris pic.twitter.com/JCSf2t7nKQ
— Paul Blest (@pblest) May 9, 2017
Just dm’d an ex in Paris. Wow. pic.twitter.com/sveZQXkOH8
— kenneth (@KennethMartin7) May 9, 2017
DM’d an ex in Paris. This is what she said pic.twitter.com/4OKANgePYv
— Osman Faruqi (@oz_f) May 9, 2017
Just DM’d an ex in Paris. This was his response. pic.twitter.com/hjQEeRSc12
— 💀Maggie Serota 💀 (@maggieserota) May 9, 2017
I DM’d an ex in Paris just to watch him die
— maura quint (@behindyourback) May 9, 2017
DM’d an ex in Paris. This is what she said pic.twitter.com/elZNrzfFgq
— “smooth” listener (@chrisjoregan) May 9, 2017
Just DM’d an ex in Paris “What have you guys done?” She said this, pic.twitter.com/WVeEXkASlD
— Jesse Bochek (@Brochek) May 11, 2017
Yes, the rest of the internet noticed, too. Indeed, before too long, there was even an official Know Your Meme entry.
The Takeaway: The meme is great and all, but aren’t we missing the most important element here?
“DM’d an ex in Paris” is just a tragic way to begin any tweet
— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) May 9, 2017