Scuttled Peace Summits and Arrested Development Trouble Top This Week’s Internet News

It’s been the week that saw journalists barred from government summits, sexual predator Harvey Weinstein turn himself in for arrest, and Ireland go to the polls over abortion. It’s also been the week where people have been recovering from a royal wedding and rejoicing over the Pope telling a gay man that God made him that way—so, in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t … that bad? Just try to bear that in mind while reading what else the internet has been talking about this week.

They Don’t Respect Us, So Let’s Surprise Them

What Happened: All those who had their hopes pinned on an exciting new era of world peace had a very rough week.

Where It Boiled Over: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: Hey, remember that promised June summit between the U.S. and North Korea that the White House was so proud of that it released a commemorative coin early (and then promptly walked away from it when people started making fun)? Yeah, about that …

This all happened after tensions rose between the nations, as did suspicions that neither side actually wanted the talks to happen despite publicly stating otherwise. As if to speak to that particular concern, things started to get worse almost immediately:

Somewhere, Mike Pence should be very embarrassed indeed. (I mean, he probably won’t be, but still.) International diplomacy, it turns out, is hard.

Oh, we’re already there. Or, at least, some people are…

Of course, just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did. The next morning, this happened:

While things certainly seemed chaotic, I’m sure this was all worked out in advance with the North and South Koreans involved in discussions.

Well, at least everyone knows where they stand, right…?

By Thursday evening, things had taken a turn for the even more surreal:

Good faith or simply successful posturing? It almost doesn’t matter at this surreal point. Should we just chalk this one up to, “Well, we tried, kind of”?

The Takeaway: So the world might fall into a nuclear standoff between two of the most fragile egos on the planet, but let’s think about what’s most important: What about the coin?

But Where Do Retweets Fall On The Legal Spectrum?

What Happened: Good news for everyone blocked by the President of the United States on Twitter. Turns out, that’s against the Constitution. No, really.

Where It Boiled Over: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: Much has been made about the President’s use of Twitter since he launched his campaign in 2015, and especially since he became President. (Remember when, as a candidate, he promised to stop tweeting if he won? Such sweet innocence.) This week, a lawsuit over his behavior—and specifically, the constitutionality of whether or not he’s allowed to block other users—came to a head:

As the media started to come to terms with the ruling, response started to spread on (of course) Twitter. Certainly, the plaintiffs were happy with the result…

…but the same couldn’t be said of the Justice Department, perhaps unsurprisingly:

You know who else wasn’t a fan…? Almost all of Trump’s fanbase.

There’s a whole thing about the First Amendment guaranteeing people the right to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances”—something that a Twitter block could, arguably, be in contravention of—but, you know, perhaps this isn’t the place to get into detail.

It seems, though, that the President wasn’t particularly interested in fixing his error anytime soon…

The Takeaway: On the plus side, if President Trump unblocks everyone, it might help him reach more actual people and fewer bots…

Free Speech Is No Longer Free If It Involves A Knee, Apparently

What Happened: Just when you thought the controversy around NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem was over, it made a last-minute comeback in the most depressing way anyone could have expected.

Where It Boiled Over: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: It seemed as if the discussion over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem and whether or not such protest was disrespectful or patriotic (Hint, it’s the latter) had died down in recent months, especially after it didn’t happen at this year’s Super Bowl — although it would’ve been on TV if it had. This announcement this week came as somewhat of a surprise, in that case:

It’s fair to say that this suggestion didn’t go down too well.

But, hey, at least they have the option of staying off the field, right…?

While the news got spread across the internet, some saw a sad irony in the way the argument against the players’ protests was being framed:

Still, at least one team owner isn’t standing for this. Ahem.

Oh, and in case anyone tries to argue that this issue isn’t explicitly about partisan politics…

Don’t Mind Me, I’m Not Here

What Happened: When the White House promised not to send anyone to a meeting about the investigations into potential crimes committed by those in the White House, what is the likelihood that it kept its word? Spoiler: low. Very, very low.

Where It Boiled Over: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: The seemingly perpetual investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and foreign bodies lurched forward this week, as the President demanded the Justice Department investigate the investigation—the DOJ agreed, kind of—before the White House made sure that classified information would be presented to lawmakers midweek despite concerns on behalf of… Well, pretty much everyone else. When the meeting actually happened, though, people had a different reason to be concerned:

It wasn’t just Kelly, either:

The White House was essentially crashing a meeting about an investigation into itself. No, you’re not alone thinking this was odd.

Wait, so why were they there…?

Oh, OK, seems legit. How did the meeting go, anyway…?

So… no one really learned anything new from the experience, except for the White House, which likely uncovered information about the case against the President that it really shouldn’t have? And the President continued to go Full Nixon with that whole “stepping over the line separating the Presidency from the DOJ” thing? Is that good? That doesn’t seem good.

The Takeaway: Let us, at least, take a moment to think about the name of the White House lawyer who attended the meeting, and marvel at how very unsubtle reality can be.

Now, The Story of A Television Cast Who Lost Everything

What Happened: In many ways, it only makes sense that Arrested Development was the TV show that had the worst promotional interview in recent memory.

Where It Boiled Over: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: We all know how the showbiz game works: When there’s a new movie or TV show about to debut, its stars do interviews to promote it. Those interviews are generally light, frothy pieces intended to get people excited about the movie, the show, or whatever. Generally. And then there was the New York Times piece about the upcoming fifth season of Arrested Development.

The piece provoked immediate reaction online.

Beyond Twitter, there were posts written in response that damned thecast and the show. Bateman, at least, took to Twitter to respond to the outcry and calm things down:

It … wasn’t enough for many:

Still, at least this didn’t hurt the show’s promotion too much—oh, wait.

The Takeaway: This, sadly, seems fitting.


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