Welcome to Paste politics’ weekly installment of the worst of Twitter. We’ve got some good ones this week, featuring a very public fail by a famous columnist, a bizarre admission by a right-wing grifter, I mean, writer, and a new product that is basically the bat signal for toxic masculinity.
NY Mag’s simplest centrist makes his first career appearance on the bad tweets list, as Jon Chait demonstrated yet again, that few high-profile columnists have worse reading comprehension skills than he does.
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) May 8, 2019
The dispute in question surrounds Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley, who has been called “anti-Semitic” by non-Jew Meghan McCain, over his cartoons calling her out for claiming to speak on behalf of all Jews (speaking as a Jew, Meghan McCain is quite literally the last person on Earth who speaks for me). Eli Valley is going to give a talk at Stanford, and an op-ed in The Stanford Daily spoke out against the event. Bari Weiss—NYT op-ed columnist and self-described defender of free speech—complimented the op-ed that was calling to shut down Eli Valley’s speech—an op-ed that Chait said was not calling for anyone to cancel or disrupt the speech. The answer to this confusion is very clear, as anyone who read this line in The Stanford Daily op-ed can attest:
To apologize for the flyers but insist on continuing with the event is equal parts absurd and appalling.
Kinda funny how these columnists who make a living chiding college students all seem to have worse reading comprehension skills than your average college student.
This may come as a shock to some of you, but the preeminent hotel newspaper in America made a bad tweet based off a study commissioned by a life insurance company, Ladder.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 7, 2019
While USA Today and Ladder believe that spending money on frivolous things like lunch is bad, you’ll never guess what “important things” they think we should spend money on: life insurance!
This whole world is just one big scam.
Liquid Death Mountain Water
Speaking of the whole world being one big grift. We’ve done it. We’ve found it. The perfect encapsulation of the overwhelmingly pathetic fragility of American testosterone-infused male culture.
— Liquid Death Mountain Water (@LiquidDeath) May 7, 2019
It’s water. That’s it. Freaking water. We are made of water. What the hell is going on?
Their product is just water in a can (which should be noted is a dramatic upgrade from plastic bottles), but because we live in a country where toxic masculinity is a major industry, men can’t just stay hydrated, WE MUST COVER OURSELVES FROM HEAD TO TOE IN FULL TACTICAL GEAR AND HUNT DOWN OUR THIRST TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH WHERE WE WILL BEAT IT TO DEATH WITH A SPIKED CLUB IN THE MIDDLE OF AN AMPHITHEATER FILLED WITH MILLIONS OF CHEERING FANS ALL CHANTING MY NAME—no, I don’t have anger or self-esteem issues—why do you ask?
It’s a perfectly reasonable thing to want to MURDER YOUR THIRST!!!! I LOVE BEING A MANLY AMERICMAN MAN WHO DEFINITELY ISN’T FUNDAMENTALLY BROKEN TO MY VERY CORE!!!!!
Matt Walsh is a right-wing writer for The Daily Wire who describes himself as “one of the religious Right’s most influential young voices.” He spends a lot of days spewing your standard misogynist trash that has come to define the internet—as well as worn-out and warmed over conservative talking points—but this tweet is different. This tweet is a symphony of buffoonery.
I have often bragged that I’m immune to poison ivy after getting a really bad case of it years back. Two days ago I walked fearlessly through a patch of it because I’m immune. It turns out I’m not immune.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) May 9, 2019
About 85% of Americans are allergic to poison ivy—the most common allergic reaction in America. It’s such a widely-known and inherently destructive plant that a Batman villain is named after it, yet a guy who spends his days writing columns like “Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s Loyalties Do Not Lie With America” went through his entire adult life wrongly believing that he was special and different from the rest of America (metaphor alert).
You’re not special, Matt. You’re just another doofus like Ben Shapiro who simply wouldn’t exist without being propped up by right-wing dark money.
Ending this column with the worst tweet of the week, I’m dropping my jovial tone, but keeping the anger over what is effectively an open call to violence against a sitting member of Congress—made by George W. Bush’s former Press Secretary (a Republican president whom a majority of liberals approve of). Ari Fleischer is someone who much of the mainstream press treats as One of the Good Republicans, as you can find him on their Very Serious pundit panels from time to time.
Gaza is not occupied. Israel withdrew. Gaza’s Palestinian leaders then burned synagogues and greenhouses full of food. Its leaders are terrorists who have attacked Israelis and Egyptians. The problem is not Israel. The problem is terrorists, and their supporters, like @IlhanMN. https://t.co/xxNisKp5sG
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) May 6, 2019
Believing Muslims to be “terrorists” is a fairly mainstream position in the GOP. Per usual, Joe Biden is wrong. Trump is not an “aberration” in the Republican Party—he is the embodiment of everything they say they believe, and this tweet is just another piece of evidence in the Mt. Everest-sized pile just sitting in the publicly available pool of knowledge we all have access to. Biden believing in an America defined by bipartisan kumbaya BS with supposed Good Republicans like Ari Fleischer is nothing more than the liberal version of Make America Great Again.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.