Today’s Completely Invented BuzzFeed Meme That’s Sweeping the World

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This is amazing. There’s a trending meme on social media that’s starting to gain steam on ordinary old media: Who should have been Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year? Serena Williams or American Pharoah? The answer, of course, is Serena Williams, because SI has chosen human beings for this award for the past 60 years. Secretariat didn’t win it. Seattle Slew didn’t win it. Affirmed didn’t win it. And now, American Pharoah hasn’t won it. This is because they are horses, not human beings.

So what’s the deal? Apparently BuzzFeed managed to start all this by publishing a piece noting that a few horse racing fans were upset that American Pharoah didn’t win. Not lots of fans. Just horse racing fans. And not even a lot of horse racing fans. Just a few. But some of them complained on Twitter! Maybe a few dozen or so. That’s about 0.00003 percent of the Twitter population.1

In other words, BuzzFeed spun a piece out of almost literally nothing, and now the rest of the world is talking about it. Truly we live in a miraculous era.

POSTSCRIPT: For those of you who aren’t tennis fans, trust me: Serena deserved this. Her record this year was almost beyond belief, and that’s at the age of 33, when most top tennis players are either retired or just barely holding on. And of course, that’s on top of a career that makes her a strong candidate for best tennis player of all time.

1More or less. Actually, I just made up this number, since it doesn’t deserve the time it would take to come up with a real one.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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