Worst Tweet of All Time of the Week: Bill Maher, 7/11/17
Note: this is the first in what will likely be an irregularly recurring series breaking down horrible current events tweets and the horrible idiots who tweet them. If you have any suggestions, or would like to continue, send them on Twitter to @ classisboring or to our email, classisboring69 [at] gmail dot com.
Yesterday was a pretty important day in American politics. As the New York Times was about to release a story implicating that Donald Trump, Jr. knowingly met with a Russian entity with the intent to improperly obtain incriminating information on his father Donald, Sr.’s election opponent, Hillary Clinton, Junior just went ahead and tweeted the email thread out himself. This misguided attempt at ass-covering miffed the writer of the story, to the degree that he put sent out his own contender for Worst Tweet Of All Time Of The Week (put into context here by Will Menaker):
However, smug swings-and-misses at humor will always top exasperated hyperbole as far as bad tweets go, and no one is better at smug swings-and-misses at humor (non-Mike Huckabee division) than Bill Maher:
Bill Maher’s face looks like a particularly aloof cat’s attitude toward anyone who is not its owner, weathered by years of outwardly projected scorn to a smooth mask the consistency of re-hardening candle wax bearing an expression that says “you’re lucky I deign to bestow upon you, the unwashed, my New Rules.” Bill Maher’s brand of skepticism will turn a skeptic to a believer out of sheer embarrassment at being associated with him. Bill Maher followed dropping a completely unprovoked and unnecessary n-word (as though there’s any other kind for a white person) on his show up with a joke about Asian people and nail salons (one he’s made before, it turns out) that brought the “I’m not racist, I’m just making an observation, perhaps YOU are the racist” crowd to his defense. Bill Maher, somehow, remains employed.
So. Now that we’ve established that Bill Maher is a dickhead, we come to his tweet from last night. We’ll start with the names, which apparently stem from a segment on his show that I’m not going to watch or link to because I may suck as a person but not that much and not in that particular way. Suffice it to say he’s been using them for over a year, and trying to get them to really catch on, to, of course, no avail.
The problem with the names is that they don’t make any sense and, partially related and partially a separate issue, they’re lazy. If Donald Trump, Jr. is the one on the hot seat, why is he Douchebag Von Fuckface Trump, and Eric Thurston Shitbag the Third (the one who would seemingly be named after his father)? Does this make Big Donald Thurston Shitbag, Jr.? Why doesn’t Bill ever refer to him as such, the way his HBO compatriot refers to him as Drumpf? Also, since he’s basically taking the name from Trump’s infamous Fuckface Von Clownstick tweet anyway, why not just use that and adjust it for the rest of the family? That tweet references a Jon Stewart joke, by the way. It seems like the whole joke is just “long silly non-English European names and curse words are funny,” which is fine as long as your entire shtick isn’t being smarter and more logical than everyone while also being funny, in which case you can’t just completely steal another comedian’s joke, change it around like a high school sophomore who’s never done plagiarism before, and try to make it a thing.
The next problem is less technical but more important: it’s the absolutely pathetic nature of the “ — say it with me — .” He’s really, really pressing to make it seem like this is A Thing, when it is definitely not A Thing. He’s trying to make fetch happen, and it’s not going to happen. It conjures an image of Maher, alone with his cell phone, trying to get a non-existent crowd to joint him in spouting off the nickname the way a children’s performer encourages crowd participation from a group a little kids at a birthday party, only to be met with deafening silence. If Maher wasn’t a rich piece of shit Islamaphobe, you might be brought to pity by such a scene. But he is, so you shouldn’t be.
This tweet also inspired Louise Mench, who has wildly accused everyone more than one millimeter to the right or left of center of colluding with Russia like young Cyclops if his power was shooting insane conspiracy theories instead of lasers, to reply triumphantly (and, for a white British woman, culturally incongruously). That doesn’t speak well for any microblog’s quality.
Finally, the form of the tweet. I mentioned the Fuckface Von Clownstick tweet earlier. One of Donald Trump’s most recognizable quirks as a candidate/tweeter was his penchant for giving his opponents nicknames, particularly Lyin’ Ted Cruz to Crooked Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s attempt at fighting fire with fire, the short-lived “Dangerous Donald” epithet, fell predictably flat; here, Maher is attempting a more HBO-appropriate version of the same thing, and in doing so, he’s tweeting exactly like the guy he’s trying to undermine.
The dumb nicknames, the blustery prediction of his opposition’s downfall, even the exclamation point at the end — it looks and reads exactly like a Trump tweet. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then unintentional imitation of an ostensible enemy is the most ironic form of flattery. That, along with the fact that he doesn’t even do that style of tweet at well as a fat geriatric moron who has worms eating his brain and thinks that’s the body’s lifetime energy supply is finite and exercising uses up those precious resources and leads to early death, is why this is the Worst Tweet of All Time of the Week.