The Way We Live Today: From Tweet to Meme in 14 Hours


The political branch of the intertubes today has been consumed by the question of whether the media is hopelessly biased because it treated Wendy Davis’ abortion filibuster more sympathetically than Ted Cruz’s kinda-buster on Obamacare. The whole fuss is so mind-crushingly inane that it’s enough to make one fear for the future of the human race, but still I’m curious: where did this meme get its start?

It apparently went mainstream in a Dylan Byers column posted today at 10:00 am. Dave Weigel says the meme was “codified” in a Tim Carney column posted a few minutes earlier at 9:44 am. Tom Kludt of TPM noted the invention of the meme an hour before that, at 8:57 am. He’s got tweets from Erick Erickson and Byron York from even earlier in the morning, and one from Richard Grenell late last night. But the earliest mention is from Laura Ingraham, who tweeted about this an hour before Grenell, at 8:20 pm last night.

But wait! Ingraham was retweeting Chad Seiter, who was responding to a dismissive tweet from Jennifer Rubin. Seiter’s tweet went up at 8:10 pm:

So as near as I can tell, that’s where it came from. A guy in Kentucky with 187 followers on Twitter got retweeted by Laura Ingraham, and by the next morning his tweet had morphed into a media bias meme that went viral. Congratulations, Chad! You won the internet today. Isn’t social media remarkable?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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