Bleats

The Most Influential Twitterer Of 2018 Sent A Total Of Thirteen Tweets So Maybe We Should All Cut Back Too

Take THAT, certain US presidents!

Social media number-compilers Brandwatch have used what we assume is sorcery to calculate the most influential people on Twitter – you know, the social media platform which largely operates like a digital tantrum colliding with an explosion of bad hot takes.

Despite that, the most influential human being on the platform this year is someone who tweeted a total of 13 times. Which is about how many tweets we send during a standard episode of Q&A. Alright, fine, The Bachelor.

Anyway, it’s Taylor Swift.

With an influencer score of 99 she is the most important Tweeter what ever twote in 2018, and that’s all the more impressive given the paucity of her output. Truly, she is the JD Salinger of the form.

And before you say “Yeah, but, she had that tweet that made the entire US meltdown when she endorsed voting Democrat!” – that was on Instagram. Her Tweet game is… um, spare. Also, her last tweet was in June.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has been insulted AGAIN by not even being the most influencial male Twit. In fact, he’s been denied the top spot for the second year running.

Last year he was beaten by Justin Bieber, who has dropped to #3, but he’s been pipped at the post by Liam Payne with an influencer score of 97 to Biebs’ 95 and Donnie’s 96.

Biebs and Tay Tay barely tweet and yet their scores speak for themselves. So the answer is clear: when on Twitter, shut yer tweet-hole.

Just imagine how influential you’re being!

The White House Has Released Doctored Video To Justify Banning A Reporter And We're Now In Propaganda Territory

It's time to retire "fake news" and call this what it is: official propaganda.

It’s been a storied little while since Donald Trump lost control of the House of Representatives in the US midterms.

In the last 36 hours he has fired his attorney general, he held a contentious press conference where he abused the media, and now his administration has faked evidence to justify banning a journalist which the president has deemed unfriendly. You know, like what normally happens in a perfectly functioning and accountable democracy.

So yesterday the White House banned CNN correspondent Jim Acosta on the grounds that he assaulted an intern when she attempted to take the microphone off him as he was asking the president a question. At the time no-one could understand why, given that any contact between Acosta and the intern seemed incidental.

And now press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has shared a doctored video making it seem as though Acosta “laid his hands” on the intern.

Several outlets, including the Washington Post, analysed the White House’ footage with that broadcast live at the time by the political channel C-Span and found that it goes out of sync at a certain point, where several frames are seemingly paused to give the impression that Acosta actually connected with the intern’s arm.

Needless to say, this is blowing up on Twitter with Trump-friendly media claiming that it was CNN who doctored the C-SPAN video (somehow, in real time, on a different network).

But with this, all those overblown 1984 comparisons suddenly seem inadequate – although this is neatly overshadowing the news about Sessions and the national protests demanding that Trump not instruct his new AG to end the probe into possible Russian collusion. So, um, good job?

The White House is faking footage for political ends. This is the literal definition of propaganda.

Dumped US Attorney General Jeff Sessions Is The Patron Saint Of Everyone That's Worked For A Boss That Openly Hates Their Guts

Hot tip: if your boss is regularly tweeting about how much you suck, it's probably not going to end in a promotion.

Normally there’s a bit of a news lull after an election while everyone gets a sense of the new lay of the land. Unsurprisingly, US president Donald Trump wasn’t into self-reflection at the news that he had just lost the House to the Democrats.

Instead he warmed up by ramping up his rhetoric about the media being enemies of the people (including suspending the White House access pass for CNN’s chief political correspondent Jim Acosta on the spurious grounds that he assaulted a White House intern), praised Fox News for doing an “incredible job” for the Republican Party during the election, and also “accepted” the “resignation” of his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.

Sessions chose to resign in much the same way that passengers on the Titanic chose to go for a cheeky midnight dip, and brings to an end one of the most one-sided love stories of the Trump era.

Sessions was one of the very first Republicans to get on board the Trump express – endorsing the then-nominee back in February 2016 with the memorable quote “this isn’t a campaign, this is a movement”.

For that, and his support throughout the primaries and the eventual campa-sorry, movement, he was made attorney general following the election in November that year.

That sounded weird then, huh?

Unfortunately Sessions had been asked about knowledge of Russian interference in the election by then-senator Al Franken during his confirmation hearings, at which point he’d said “I’m not aware of any of those activities.” Problematically, just under a month after being sworn in, he was revealed to have had spoken twice to the Russian ambassador to the US.

Thus, when the Justice Department began rumbling with rumours of an investigation into Russian interference, Sessions recused himself from any involvement. As far as Trump was concerned, Sessions not being able to shut down any such investigation rather defeated the entire point of having an attorney general.

By May Trump was openly accusing Sessions of “disloyalty” for obeying the rule of law rather than protecting the president from legal challenges. By July he was telling reporters “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else.”

And as the investigation went on, so did Trump.

And on…

And on…

And on…

By September the internationally respected investigative reporter Bob Woodward was quoting the president in his book Fear: Trump in the White House as having described Sessions as “mentally retarded” and “a dumb Southerner” – which Trump somewhat implausibly denied.

And as such Sessions is a powerful reminder for everyone who has ever worked for a boss that openly hates them: things aren’t going to get better, no matter how unwavering your support and unquestioning your loyalty, and really you should just raid the stationery cupboard before throwing a lit match over your shoulder on the way out.

Still, now it frees up Jeff’s time for other important work…

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