Dueling irrelevancies

What is Trump fretting over now?

On Tuesday, President Trump hosted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in the Oval Office for a closed-door meeting, during which the leader of the free world spent an inordinate amount of time complaining about lost Twitter followers, according to a source familiar with the conversation.

There’s a big problem with Twitter right there — you know weird ol’ @jack really cares about keeping his buddy @realDonaldTrump happy, and @realDonaldTrump really cares about the big number of followers. So much so that this must sting:

Yep, 59.9 million vs 106 million. Don’t tell Donald that at least half his followers are hate-reading him.


  1. blf says

    Trump is visiting Britain — at least we can enjoy Melania’s contempt:

    From the Queen to the First Lady, leave it to the women around the president to send messages about their true feelings towards the giant man-baby
    Re-inflate the orange blimp, the human orange blimp is coming back. This June, to be precise, for his first official UK state visit, as opposed to his last visit which was — amusingly, adorably — described as “a working visit”, which is like when I tell my toddlers how helpful they are when they unload the dishwasher by putting all the cutlery in the bin. Last summer, if you remember — and who could forget — Trump spent his four days in Britain alternately hiding from and grumping about the British people who seemed less than enthusiastic about his visit. He managed to be a dick even to the Queen, barging ahead of the 93-year-old woman as she valiantly attempted to humour the giant man-baby on walkabouts around Windsor. But the Queen might, or might not, have had her revenge, possibly-allegedly-maybe sending coded messages through the medium of her brooches to communicate her distaste for this man even other Americans refer to as “that vulgar American”. It was a headily exciting time for us all, and cost the UK tax payer a mere £18m for the joy. Ma’am, we are keenly awaiting your brooch messages. Red for emergency, orange for double emergency.

    So why are the Trumps coming back, you ask? Well, officially it’s to discuss defence and security with Theresa May, as well as being the guest of the Queen (brooch at the ready) for a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-day landings. We can only wait to see if Trump bothers to turn up, unlike last November when, while on a trip to France, he couldn’t be faffed to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, where US and French troops who died fighting the Germans in 1918 are buried. It was rainy, you see, and while honouring soldiers is important, avoiding bad hair days are more so.

    Some of my compatriots found our president’s behaviour a little mortifying: “It’s incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary — and then remain in his hotel room watching TV rather than pay in person his respects to the Americans who gave their lives in France for the victory gained 100 years ago tomorrow,” tweeted the US political writer David Frum. To which I say: sorry, have you only just met our president? The man who claimed John McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured, but who himself didn’t go to Vietnam at all thanks to bone spurs which even he described as “temporary”? If Trump feels embarrassment at attending military ceremonies, that might be the most noble emotion he’s ever felt.

    Still, forward looking. What to expect of this trip, Queen’s brooches aside? Well, Trump is a man who proves Dolly Parton’s timeless adage that it costs a lot to look so cheap, and that’s all that needs saying.


  2. Snarki, child of Loki says

    “Don’t tell Donald that at least half his followers are hate-reading him”

    So, like Florida Man, but without the alligators, and less ‘Florida’?

    Sounds plausible.

  3. acroyear says

    Another 10-15% of his followers are Russian-created twitter-bots that like or retweet instantly, fanning those numbers up.

  4. lucifersbike says

    PZ. We wouldn’t like to keep him in the UK, but we have a few left-over bits of Empire where he could be kept in cold storage. How about South Georgia?

  5. Rich Woods says

    @PZ #2:

    Would you like to keep him?

    No, not even in the deepest medieval dungeon left in Britain. His bawling would scare off the ravens even if that dungeon wasn’t underneath the Tower. And where would the country be without London’s ravens? I’ll tell you: Brexit. Bloody Brexit. Do you hate us that much? Gah.

  6. quotetheunquote says

    @Rich Woods #9
    In answer to your second question; well, yes, I believe they do … 1776 and all that….

  7. weylguy says

    I don’t subscribe to Facebook, Twitter or any of the other stupid social media come-ons, and I never will. They’re not only all a fucking waste of time and effort, but they provide convenient marketing information on dumbed-down Americans who can’t see their country descending into a plutocratic theocracy while they’re busy posting crap on the latest pop singer.

  8. robro says

    As I suspected, there are claims that Obama has his own fake followers. The Daily Mail comes up with 19.5 million at some time in the past…I’m not going to click that bait…but that isn’t surprising. Anyone or any-bot can create fake accounts for someone, including Obama as well as Trump. However, if you take away that 10%-15%-20% from Obama, and the 10%-15%-20% from Trump, Obama still wins the count by a landslide.

    Trump, sad.

  9. doubtthat says

    You know, all other things aside, I just cannot fathom how right wingers and Trump supports develop their priority list. Like, you look around this world and think your time needs to be devoted to who is following you on Twitter?
    At least the out of touch Roman Emperors were just fucking and eating lots of food.
    I just cannot imagine being president of the United States, having that much power, that much ability to influence the world, and think I needed to get a social media CEO – not to talk about their systems being used for mob violence around the world – but to bitch my follower count wasn’t high enough.

  10. lumipuna says

    Aside from the Obama snipe, I heard Twitter has recently been purging many of the fake followers of fake celebrities and political apparatchiks, so it makes sense that Trump would be complaining about lost followers.

  11. nomdeplume says

    Perhaps the Brits feel about Trump the way Americans once thought of George III – Donald has Twitter, George had trees.

  12. consciousness razor says

    That’s a dreadful thing to say Doc,wot have we ever done to you Americans ?

    Come on, what do you expect? We can’t control our intense, primal urges any better than you can.

  13. chrislawson says

    There’s an argument that Piers Morgan is a greater threat to the NATO alliance than Putin.

  14. Ishikiri says

    @weylguy, #11: I’ve done quite a bit of workplace organizing over Facebook, and I know at least one person who met his wife via Twitter. The platforms have grievous problems to be sure, but the social interactions that they facilitate are as valid as anywhere else.

    Your contempt for ordinary people is duly noted.

  15. davidc1 says

    “Piers Morgan, for one. At least we sent him back.”
    Yeah ,well that was because you send Loyd Grossman over here .
    @17 At last something from the onion that made me smile .

  16. mamba says

    The guy’s president of the United states, arguably one of the most powerful positions on planet Earth, is very rich, famous (for better or worse for the rest of us), and his ego is STILL so fragile that he cares about followers on Twitter???

    The guy’s about to meet the Queen of england, and yet he’s upset about Twitter.

    Also, what the heck was the CEO of twitter supposed to do about this? He owns Twitter but he doesn’t control the users of it! People either choose to follow this lunatic or they don’t. The CEO is totally irrelevant to this!

    Tell me again how someone this ridiculous got to this point without being dragged out in a net again?

  17. ashley says

    I sometimes read Trump tweets after hearing about them in the British ‘fake news media’ such as the BBC. As far as I know I have not somehow signed up as a ‘follower’ merely by occasionally viewing the page.