Last week, we took a brief detour from wondering if Legion was going to be as good as it looked (spoiler alert: it is) to have a quick laugh about the leader of the free world’s inability to let even a minor business decision involving Ivanka Trump’s fashion line go un-commented upon. And once Steve Bannon finished weighing in, Donald Trump tweeted about it, too. Last week, Nordstrom dropped the president’s daughter’s fashion line for underperforming, prompting the President to fire off a tweet saying how “unfairly” she was being treated, leading to a dip—and then surge, once people realized Trump didn’t like something they could then support—in Nordstrom’s stock. Then, naturally, the White House had to release an official statement about it, accusing the retailer of making the move for political reasons. Because, as we all know, multinational corporations hate making money, and love scoring cheap and meaningless political points against misdirected adversaries.
And today comes word of what we all already assumed, but enjoy hearing anyway, because reminders that facts are still things is a nice feeling. CNBC reports that Nordstrom wasn’t lying, and that group of pasty-faced authoritarian weirdos strolling the abandoned ruins of a once-bustling focus of American democracy were, as has been consistently the case, lying for no discernible reason outside of blind hubris. Slice Intelligence confirms Ivanka Trump’s line of goods at Nordstrom fell 63 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to the previous year, and were additionally down 26 percent in January 2017 compared with 12 months earlier. Her items experienced similar drops at other retailers like Zappos and Amazon (43 percent and 21 percent), meaning this isn’t some strange outlier in the merchandising world. Sure, it wasn’t all bad for Ivanka—her sales grew at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, though at significantly slower rates than in 2015—but Nordstrom cut the cord for the most basic reason imaginable: They weren’t making enough money.
Trump has yet to respond to this latest reason that people can feel comfortable in presuming that, whatever the White House officially announces, the opposite is probably true. And yes, the question of what constitutes pop culture is getting awfully blurry these days, because we live in a world where even a Super Bowl game gets politicized for spurious reasons. But all that blurring really means is we can no doubt look forward to an official press briefing from Sean Spicer announcing that pop culture consists of movies and TV shows only—but not ones that mention him, and for sure not music, those people seem to hate him, unless it’s Kid Rock, who is for sure pop culture.