donald trump

Trump tweet implies Paris is in Germany

This is a bit of a weird one.  I say weird because I find myself in the unlikely position of interpreting a tweet sent by Donald Trump in a more positive light than others.  Yep.  That’s weird.

Anyways: Last week, in light of a series of crimes occurring in Paris, Donald Trump tweeted out the following:


As you can see, the tweet mentions Paris, then Germany.  A possible interpretation of this tweet is that Mr. Trump thinks that Paris IS IN Germany…which, of course, it isn’t.  And that is exactly how Trump’s opponents took the tweet:


The tweet also inspired a variety of news stories and briefly made #ParisIsInGermany a trending topic on Twitter.

My opinion?  This was a poorly worded tweet.  Donald Trump is many things, but I don’t think he – or anyone on his campaign – really thinks Paris is in Germany.  Germany has had a spike in violence, including as many as 80 sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, and that is likely what Mr. Trump was referring to.  However, the phrasing of the tweet – which is obviously condensed by the 140 character limitation – lent itself to the interpretation that Mr. Trump thinks Paris is in Germany.

The lesson here? Careful with how you tweet things.  Again, I don’t think the Trump campaign was saying that they think Paris is in Germany, but you always have to be careful with how you phrase your tweets.  As frequent readers of this blog know, you can do a lot of damage in 140 characters or less, and your political opponents certainly won’t give you the benefit of the doubt.  Don’t make anything easy for them.

Bush campaign in the basement, Communications Director tweets about bear rape

Well…that’s one of the stranger titles I’ve ever written to a blog entry.

Alrighty.  Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida, is running for President, and recent polls have him towards the bottom of the Republican pack, garnering just 3% in the last national poll.

Related to this story is the concept of bear rape.  Oy.  So, Leonardo DiCaprio is in a new movie, called Revenant.  Last week, the Drudge Report ran this headline:

Yeah, it’s not true at all.  Enter Tim Miller, Communications Director for Jeb Bush, who sent out this tweet:

Is this a problem?  I’d argue yes.  Here’s why: The Bush campaign, as noted above, is in the toilet.  This is for a variety of reasons, and there are plenty of stories now about how the Bush campaign is seeking to assuage skittish donors and carry on.  Therefore, if I was a high level Bush staffer…let alone the head of Communications…I would only tweet about politics, the campaign, and my candidate.  Tweeting about something as weird as BEAR RAPE gets you off message and generates negative national news headlines for your candidate.  For the Bush campaign to be saved, every ounce of energy must be dedicated towards the resuscitation of the candidate.  Tweets about bear rape from high level staffers won’t get you there.

Tweets and Consequences

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donald trump

Donald Trump’s latest: Shootings are good for my campaign!

Politicians from all sides of the political spectrum have been accused of politicizing mass shootings before.  That being said, I can’t recall it ever being this blatant!

In the aftermath of the tragedy in San Bernadino, Donald Trump retweeted this:

So, apparently Mr. Trump believes that mass shootings are good for his poll numbers.  The fact that him/his campaign thinks that this is an appropriate thing to discuss speaks volumes about him, and his campaign. Do mass shootings/acts of terrorism effect Presidential campaigns?  Of course they do – these things obviously have an impact on our politics.  That being said, retweeting content like this is essentially bragging, and I’m not sure that bragging about a mass shooting is ever an appropriate message for any Presidential candidate.  Wonkette nails the analysis about why this is so tacky:

…if true, we’d modestly propose that’s not something to be proud of. We also doubt it would bring comfort to the friends and families of victims — of Wednesday’s shooting, or last Friday’s shooting, or the shooting before that, or the next shooting that is guaranteed to come.

That being said, Mr. Trump acts as if the rules of politics – and decency – don’t really apply to him, so I suppose this isn’t really any surprise.

donald trump

The latest racist filth spewed by Donald Trump

Well, it’s been at least a week – definitely time for Donald Trump to tweet something awful and racist.

The other day, Trump retweeted this graphic:

Donald Trump racist crime tweet

Here’s the thing: Pretty much none of this is true.  Looking at the fact-checking:

Trump’s graphic states that 81% of whites who are murdered are murdered by blacks. This is false. The actual data shows that 14% of white murder victims are murdered by a black person. (In 2013, it was 13.6%.)

The percentage of blacks murdered by other blacks (89.9%) is similar to the percentage of whites murdered by other whites (82.3%). Trump’s graphic falsely states that 97% of blacks are killed by other blacks but just 16% of whites are killed by other whites.

Oh, and the source?  The Crime Statistics Bureau of San Francisco?  Literally doesn’t exist.  Not an actual thing.

Combine this graphic with Trump’s recent comments that a Black Lives Matter protester who was beat up at one of his rallies (“Maybe he should have been roughed up!“), as well as Trump’s other horrendous comments about Latinos and Muslims, and it’s difficult to escape the conclusion that Trump is a pretty terrible racist.

Even Bill O’Reilly questioned Trump about the tweet, saying he was “bothered” by it (even if he didn’t think Trump was a racist) and that it gave others an opportunity to paint Trump as such.  Trump, defending himself, said that he, “retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert” and noted that he was tweeted at millions of times during the day – far too often to fact-check every tweet sent his way.

Of course, that concept is accurate – but no human being expects you to fact check the things that OTHERS tell you.  What is perfectly reasonable, of course, is that you fact check things that you say or retweet.  Trump, however, clearly has no cares about reality or facts.  He has previously said that others run his Twitter account, and I suspect that those others know exactly what they are doing.  Trump is blatantly race-baiting in an attempt to appeal to the worst of the Republican party.

Tweets and Consequences

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State Representative candidate withdraws from race after saying ISIS “isn’t necessarily evil”

Well…yeah, I have no idea what happened here.

As of last week, Dan Kimmel, a Democrat, was a candidate for State Representative in Minnesota.  That changed after this tweet:


I cannot, for the life of me, understand what Mr. Kimmel was going for here.  He followed it up with this tweet:


Obviously, this was way too late, and the damage was done.  The tweet came after ISIS had taken responsibility for last week’s devastating Paris terrorist attacks that killed 129 and injured hundreds more, and Mr. Kimmel’s tweet essentially implied that ISIS is just a group of misunderstood community organizers.

Probably not the message that he was going for.

Kimmel was roundly criticized for the tweet, including by Democratic leaders in Minnesota, who called for his withdrawal from the race. In a statement, the head of the Minnesota DFL (Democratic Party in Minnesota) said, “On behalf of the Minnesota DFL, I strongly condemn his comments. I ask Dan Kimmel to apologize to all the families who have been torn apart by the terrorist organization and their senseless violence.”

To his credit – and to my surprise – Kimmel responded, not only with a full-throated apology, but by withdrawing from the race.  In a statement on his campaign website, Kimmel clarified that his tweet was made in reference to comments which occurred in the Democratic Presidential debate, not the Paris terrorist attacks.  He said that his tweet was “poorly worded and did not convey my intent.”  He then added that he wanted to:

…apologize to the volunteers and contributors who have put so much time, effort and money into my campaign. … I will do everything I can to help resolve the issue: most likely the best thing for me to do is shut up. The tweet was stupid. I’m sorry.

This is actually kinda sad.  I cannot imagine that Mr. Kimmel was going out of his way to say, “Hey, ISIS isn’t so bad, they’re just misunderstood!”  That being said, it was a dumb tweet – no excuses.  To Mr. Kimmel’s credit, he recognized that the comments made him completely uneelectable as a candidate, and withdrew.  The lesson here is obvious: Be very, very careful with what you say, and how you say it!

Tweets and Consequences

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Hillary Clinton campaign tweet gets shortened in most unfortunate way possible

Last week, the former Secretary and Presidential candidate sent out this tweet:

Okay, fine, it’s an article which shows that her campaign spends a small fortune on pizza.  Anyone who’s ever worked on a campaign can give a knowing laugh about that one: Every campaign is powered on pizza and donuts.

That being said, the last words of the tweet are “pizza, analysis shows.”  However, as noted by this Buzzfeed article, when mobile users saw a preview of the link, it looked like this:

Hillary Clinton Shortened Tweet

That…that is not what the Clinton campaign had in mind.  That’s just not good.

Is there anything that could have been done about this one?  Well, it does show that you always need to check the preview of any tweet before sending it.  This isn’t the first time an error like this has occurred either: Last year, an automatic tweet, sent by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s Instagram account, said, “We will no longer educate children…

This does go to show the dangers of too much automation, and why you should always check your tweets before you send them.

donald trump

Donald Trump using Nazi imagery on Twitter…again!

Wow.  Just wow.  I…just wow.

Last week, Donald Trump sent out this astounding retweet:

Trump Retweet

The tweet was deleted, but wowzers.  Among the items it contains:

  • A swastika next to Jeb Bush.
  • Numerous stereotypes about Hispanics.

Trump’s team said, “This was retweeted by Mr. Trump like hundreds of others. He did not see the accompanying image and the retweet has since been deleted.”  That’s all well and good, but did he also miss the reference to Jeb Bush as “JOSE”?  Come on.  Is anyone minding the store over there?

At this point, I honestly cannot figure out if Trump’s social media team is incompetent, or if he does this intentionally as a way of getting attention.  To review, here’s a list of the stupid and offensive things that Donald Trump does on social media.  This includes:

I think we all know what Trump should say to his social media team: You’re fired!

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.