Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

When scheduled tweets attack

Illustration for article titled When scheduled tweets attack
Photo: SAUL LOEB / Contributor (Getty Images)

Perhaps you were awake last night when news broke that a former reality TV host had tested positive for Covid-19, as did his wife, who hates Christmas. It was a hell of a time to be on the internet. Someone on The Washington Post’s social team was definitely awake, because they were able to remove a previously-scheduled tweet in a real damn hurry. Gee, I wonder why:

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Now, it apparently wasn’t intentional—and of course it wasn’t—but that doesn’t make it any less bonkers. The tweet in question linked to an opinion column from Eugene Robinson. At the time of this writing, it bears the headline, “Vote for Biden and get Trump out of your head.” And that is its central, very reasonable argument:

Through repetition and force of will, Trump creates his own “reality.” But we know it is not really real, so we must constantly spend time and effort dispelling the miasma of mendacity that pours out of Trump’s fog machine of a mouth. Doing so is exhausting, Sisyphean, psychic labor that drains the soul. Yet it is necessary — because the words of a president, by definition, are consequential — and so the only way to end this epistemological trench warfare is to end Trump’s presidency and send him home to Mar-a-Lago, where he can mutter at the walls.

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But wow, “Imagine what it will be like to never have to think about Donald Trump again” sure rings different mere moments after the world learned he’s contracted Covid-19, doesn’t it?

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One reader respectfully submitted a correction:

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Not to recklessly pull back the curtain here, but do you, dear reader, have any idea how hard it is to write stories for a section called “Great Job Internet” on a day like today? It’s wild. It’s just wild. One minute everyone is making the same “wow Hope Hicks has coronavirus, her name is Hope, get it, Hope” jokes, and in the next minute one of the world’s leading news organizations accidentally implies that the President’s going to die and everyone will immediately forget him, forever? And also fuck Christmas and kids can go to hell? Please, send coffee and Doritos or something, because October is going to be a long year.

Anyway, it’s not the only time this election cycle that scheduled tweets have attacked. Remember Herman Cain apparently tweeting about the disease that killed him from the afterlife?

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Perhaps this the truest thing about 2020: It’s a year in which you absolutely cannot trust that even the most innocuous scheduled tweet won’t somehow bite you in the ass. It’s a year so rowdy that one cannot safely plan one’s social media post even a few hours in advance. Stay vigilant. And just imagine what it will be like to never have to think about tweets about imagining what it will be like to never have to think about Donald Trump again, again.

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Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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