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.
Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017
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.
— Barb🏇ÓRothláin (@gotspeed2burn) October 21, 2017
President Trump is going to expose so much corruption that he will win another historic election in 2020.
Count on it.#JFKfiles
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) October 21, 2017
— 🌸Jillian 🇺🇸 💕 👢 (@Jillibean557) October 21, 2017
Thank God that Trump will be releasing the JFK Files. That is what TRANSPARENCY looks like!
It’s about time we found out what happened…
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) October 21, 2017
Those who didn’t count themselves amongst Trump’s faithful were … a little less impressed.
In a diversion tactic, criminal con-man Trump will release the JFK Files, yet he still refuses to release his own tax returns. #AMJoy
— Bill Madden (@activist360) October 21, 2017
This is yet another blatant effort to distract from the chaos in the White House.
It's also a shot at the FBI. https://t.co/wrIS0NaaXP
— Nate Lerner (@NathanLerner) October 21, 2017
As long as Trump didn’t block, the JFK files were already set for release. Per usual he wants credit for doing nada. https://t.co/GGywrqP2W3
— shauna (@goldengateblond) October 21, 2017
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:
The long anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take place tomorrow. So interesting!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2017
So, what happened? Well, not exactly what was promised, it turns out.
BREAKING: 2,800 #JFK records will be released today.
Release of other records w redactions postponed for 180 days to allow further review.
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 26, 2017
.@potus releasing 2,800 JFK records today. However, many more not being released until April 2018 due to national security concerns.
— Fin Gomez (@finnygo) October 26, 2017
Well, that’s a letdown. Reports suggested that Trump made the decision to withhold the files himself. But bear in mind, he’s still working on it, apparently.
JFK Files are being carefully released. In the end there will be great transparency. It is my hope to get just about everything to public!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2017
The Takeaway: Actually, speaking of transparency…
2,800 JFK files were released, but the rest will still be reviewed after 54 years.
At this pace, we'll see Trump's taxes around 2071.
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) October 26, 2017
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.
— Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) October 25, 2017
Asked if he should be more civil, Pres. Trump says he went to an Ivy League college & he's very intelligent person. https://t.co/q1EDXuC0nK
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) October 25, 2017
Let’s file this one under “people are unconvinced,” yes?
Q: Should you be more civil?
Trump: Press makes me more uncivil than I am… I went to an Ivy League college. I'm a very intelligent person pic.twitter.com/x2sYu4tYV2
— David Mack (@davidmackau) October 25, 2017
For someone who hates elites, I'm not sure I've met a person who mentions they went to an Ivy League school more than Trump https://t.co/cWnp4kZnxr
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) October 25, 2017
“People don’t understand, I went to an Ivy League college. I was a nice student. I did very well. I'm a very intelligent person." -Trump pic.twitter.com/bwuqxJ7eop
— Krister Johnson (@KristerJohnson) October 25, 2017
I don't know about you, but when someone describes themselves as a "very intelligent person," I tend to assume the opposite. #trump
— Stephen Walt (@stephenWalt) October 25, 2017
If you’re 71 y.o. and bragging about going to “an Ivy League college” I think you’re saying more about lack of substance than substance. https://t.co/iZn2v0HTy1
— Creepy Cat Lady (@anamariecox) October 25, 2017
Reminder that these people went to Ivy League schools:
The Roadside Strangler
— Girls Really Rule. (@girlsreallyrule) October 26, 2017
Of course, with the media being so biased against him, there was almost certainly no way it’d share these comments. Oh wait. Never mind.
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!
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself" – FDR
"A nat'n divded agnst itslf cannot stand" – Lincoln
"I'm a very intelligent person" – Trump
— Peter Ames Carlin (@peteramescarlin) October 25, 2017
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:
A 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy has been detained by federal immigration authorities after undergoing surgery https://t.co/xfnbpLAslx
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 26, 2017
Yes, authorities detained a 10-year-old girl after emergency gallbladder surgery because she was an undocumented immigrant. The vast majority of social media was upset by the story.
Border patrol STOPPED THE AMBULANCE she was in to check her status, followed her to the hospital, and detained her after her surgery. https://t.co/kfRrCvCiPH
— Alexis Isabel (@lexi4prez) October 26, 2017
— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) October 26, 2017
What the hell is the @CustomsBorder patrol doing pulling over ambulances in the first place?
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) October 26, 2017
Rosamaria's doctor ordered her return to her family & doctor at home. CPB took her 150 miles away and has let no family see her https://t.co/DVMhuNcpnD
— Movimiento Cosecha (@CosechaMovement) October 26, 2017
Update: Rosa Maria is at a detention shelter for child migrants in San Antonio. She doesn't understand what's going on, according to her mom
— Vivian Yee (@VivianHYee) October 26, 2017
However, not everyone was outraged. Some even saw what was going on as a good thing.
10yr old illegal, Rosamaria Hernandez, gets free emergency surgery in the United States
ICE arranges for her transfer to a Mexican hospital
— Cali-Conservative (@CaliConsrvative) October 26, 2017
#RosamariaHernandez THIS case alone proves us correct… MEXICO uses us for resources… we are a free medical clinic. DEPORT
— Melvin Torado (@MelvinTorado) October 26, 2017
I’m sorry but rules are rules! If she’s an immigrant then why should she be treated differently!? #RosamariaHernandez
— JP (@CincinnatiDuke) October 26, 2017
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.
— CNN (@CNN) October 24, 2017
That’s CNN’s new ad campaign, launched last week addressing the fake news landscape directly. Response was fairly evenly split between those who saw what was being said and appreciated it—
— trustfundbaby (@trustfundbaby) October 23, 2017
— Diane Danois (@dianedanois) October 23, 2017
Thank you! #ThisIsAnApple
— R. C. (@roy_karrol) October 23, 2017
—to those who were unconvinced—
CNN's "this is an apple" ad kinda conflicts with actual CNN, where a panel of people yell at each other about whether it's an apple. https://t.co/v5EqPSsStT
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) October 23, 2017
Good pointed ad, but CNN's own headline writers would promo such a story with "Banana Controversy Heats Up."
— The Ottawa Ross (@ottaross) October 23, 2017
New @CNN ad: "This is an apple. It may look like a banana, but we have sources from the Obama Administration who say it's an apple."
— Baby Ghoul Alliance (@AceofSpadesHQ) October 25, 2017
—and then, there were those whose predilections were entirely in the other direction…
This is a bunch of BS Fake News! #FactsFirst is RUSSIA colluded with Hillary and Obama for 20% of the US Uranium! Report that Fact!
— joe biggins (@jofah12) October 23, 2017
— AW (@ArtbyAWOHS) October 23, 2017
This is a baby. Some might try to tell you it's a clump of cells.
— Liberty McArtor (@LibertyMcArtor) October 23, 2017
— Ronald Achs (@RainMaker777) October 23, 2017
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.
.@CNN is bananas.
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 23, 2017
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 24, 2017
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?
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) October 25, 2017
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.
Sec. of State Tillerson stops at statue while touring parks around Geneva: "Some days I feel like I need to do that. Curl up in a ball." pic.twitter.com/SDI6FVuMca
— ABC News (@ABC) October 26, 2017
Yes, Rex Tillerson vocalized the one thing nearly everyone managed to agree on last week.
Same, T. rex, same
— Alyssa Marie (@issyelliot) October 26, 2017
This is the most relatable and also the most awkward thing Rex Tillerson has ever said. https://t.co/1jXCArPMEO
— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) October 26, 2017
Rex Tillerson: "OCCASIONALLY THESE HUMANOID EMOTIONS OF MINE ARE BEYOND MY CAPACITY. I GO INTO DEFENSE MODE, AS DEMONSTRATED HERE"
— 🎃Anthony Pumpkinton (@Extremist4Love) October 26, 2017
We feel your pain, Mr. Secretary. But most of the rest of the administration is already doing that.
— Lee Bridge Cognetta (@leebridge) October 26, 2017
Join the club, Rex.
— Thomas O'Rourke (@thomasaquinas81) October 26, 2017
Finally someone in this administration has something in common with the average American.
— My 💩 Honked (@mypoophonked) October 26, 2017
Dude. Every day since November 9th.
— Bear Walk (@TeriPDC) October 26, 2017
The press conference explaining this one should be fun https://t.co/JmyN0ma5SC
— Daily Intelligencer (@intelligencer) October 26, 2017
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!
Basically Rex Tillerson was like pic.twitter.com/cq5uGMbJcu
— Mihrimah_Irena (@Mihrimah_Irena) October 26, 2017