This week has been weirdly filled with large-scale self-owns - to the degree we felt the need to compile some of the best. Please enjoy these idiots who made themselves look even stupider:
1. Baked Alaska, who threatened a lawsuit over a photo (that he forgot that he made)
America's favorite possibly-self-macing internet racist - Twitter user @BakedAlaska - took issue with a news story posted by AJ Plus that called him a white supremacist (no idea why anyone would accuse him of that!) and for photoshopping a gun over a picture of his face. And who can blame him? It's a sloppy photoshop job and certainly paints him as a violent individual - where would AJ Plus get such an idea?!
Oh! Right. They got the idea ACTUAL PHOTO from - you guessed it - @BakedAlaska:
get in bitch we are saving the world pic.twitter.com/w76DEkHCrs-- Baked Alaska? (@bakedalaska) August 8, 2017
This is a pretty brutal self-own - threatening to sue an organization for photoshopping you....and then finding out it was YOUR PHOTOSHOP they were using. And it was LESS THAN A MONTH OLD. And - somehow - he has not yet deleted either the tweet accusing AJ Plus of improper reporting NOR his original photoshop.
2. Ian Miles Cheong, who is convinced that we haven't been to space
Who is Ian Miles Cheong? Well, if you're not familiar with THE ETHICS OF TRUE VIDEOGAMES JOURNALISM (and the various controversial factions of insanely angry individuals who obsess over the perceived bias of videogame websites), he might be a stranger to you. He fashions himself as a videogame and culture journalist, writing primarily for the right-wing outlet The Daily Caller.
But more importantly, he's the type of writer who spends pretty much every day tweeting nonstop about whatever's making him mad at that particular moment, and usually in extremely weird, nonsensical ways - like saying humanity had not gone to space circa 1977 because a child likes to dress in drag.
A few issues here (beyond the grammatical problems):
1. What the hell is he talking about?
2. Why is a cute video of a kid who likes to dress up in drag making him so mad that his brain is short-circuiting and making him say that humanity's greatest dream in 1977 was to someday travel into space?
3. We had absolutely been to space by 1977...HOW IS THIS BEING DEBATED?
Of course, Cheong wouldn't let things like "basic logic" stop him from making the most baffling and pointless tweet in recent memory - and proceeded to argue that TECHNICALLY previous space travel didn't count as ACTUAL SPACE?
This is the laziest clapback, and also wrong. The earth's outer atmosphere extends all the way out to 960 km. Yuri Gagarin achieved 200 km. pic.twitter.com/OsFSwGjPic-- Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 4, 2017
His answer was "dig in way harder" and "completely change what he was talking about."
If you find yourself arguing about what technically counts as "space travel" online, maybe it's time to accept the L and move on.
3. Louise Mensch, who fired her own lawyer....over Twitter....for correcting Evan McMullin...
This has been a banner year (of sorts) for Louise Mensch, aka the dumbest, most easily duped faux-journalist to ever enter the online world. For months and months she drew attention to herself for her supposed insider info about Trump's purported collusion with Russia and how the Supreme Court was planning to impeach him (despite, uh, how easy it is to check how the actual impeachment process works, and how it does not involve the Supreme Court) and that the death penalty was already being discussed for Trump and Steve Bannon. And as the investigation into the Trump campaign's communication with Russia, Louise Mensch is proving a massive thorn in the side of the world of public opinion - since it becomes so much easier to dismiss actual evidence of collusion as phony when Louise Mensch is continually serving up heaping helpings of bullshit and being taken seriously enough to get published in the New York Times.
Still, Louise Mensch has a long and storied history of bizarre claims with no bearing on reality that I won't attempt to summarize here - the point is that she gave herself a brutal, unprompted self-own this week by publicly firing her lawyer...ON TWITTER.
This is real - Mark Zaid was serving as a pro bono lawyer for Mensch, and now (apparently) no longer has her as a client. And the cause, bizarrely, was that he asserted (correctly) that the United States had engaged in propaganda campaigns (not to mention supporting coups) in other foreign nations throughout the years to subvert their democratic institutions. And Mensch decided to publicly embarrass both Zaid and herself with a weird, petty social media firing.
4. Peter Daou, who launched the stupidest website of 2017 and has been melting down ever since
Peter Daou is a special kind of online news pundit - one who unabashedly is dedicated to one person and one person only: former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. His politics seem to lean left, but primarily in service to Secretary Clinton moreso than any firmly-held beliefs of his own. He could not be more clear about this: he was banking everything on her victory in November, and her loss has left him a shattered man - and now brags about his greatest enemies from the rightwing complimenting him for his loyalty to Hillary:
What truly makes his abject dedication to Clinton pretty sad is that leaked emails from last year confirm the campaign did not think highly of him and found him to be "a little off."
Still, none of this has stopped Daou from launching a new digital venture - Verrit, an online brand that specializes in...inspirational quote macros with codes attached to them? On a Wordpress blog? Explicitly only for people who voted for Hillary Clinton?
The reason it's difficult to quickly sum up what Verrit is is because it's a nebulously-defined idea with even vaguer purpose - it's half-opinion pieces, half-random quotes and blurbs set against gray backgrounds. The one thing uniting everything are the six-digit numerical codes attached to each image - which allows you to type in the code to the site and see the same image you were already looking at. Realistically, the code-system that forms the foundation of Verrit only works to prevent trolls from making up fake Verrits - so, essentially, it's a defense against a problem that only could come up after it was created.
The internet's reaction to Verrit was expected - everyone making fun of it: for it's confusing/contradictory purpose, for it's piss-poor design, and for the impossible-to-penetrate messaging surrounding it. But things got much more serious when the site suffered a DDOS attack after it was formally endorsed by Hillary Clinton on Twitter. Peter Daou saw the criticism, the attack, and the swirling cacophony of people yelling at him the only way he knew how - by getting insanely mad online, which includes:
Calling out reporter Sopan Deb and putting him on blast for 'liking' a tweet critical of Verrit.
Being so blinded by people dunking on him nonstop, was completely unable to recognize the world's most obvious troll who appeared to be paying him a compliment:
Yes, that is a furry with the Verrit logo photoshopped on. Christ, Peter Daou, c'mon.
And, of course, the requisite insanely tweet-thread meltdown - where he equates any and all criticism of Verrit with attacks on Hillary Clinton:
1. PERSONAL THREAD: I had the WILDEST night in the fetid swamps of Hillary hate. These people are PETRIFIED of her. I'll explain...-- Peter Daou (@peterdaou) September 4, 2017
Despite pretty much every outlet online saying Verrit was a useless, pointless, poorly-thought out venture, Daou is remaining steadfast in his belief that Verrit is a worthy, noble pursuit. And honestly? You almost have to respect that kind of commitment.
5. Rush Limbaugh, who claimed Hurricane Irma was a liberal hoax perpetrated by the "climate change industry" and bottled water companies....and then evacuated Florida
Rush Limbaugh opened his week of radio programming with a pretty bold claim - the panic over Hurricane Irma was all being manufactured by conspiratorial forces looking to benefit or profit in some way off of a terrified public. While he wasn't denying Hurricane Irma existed, he was denying that it posed any real threat and its severity was being exaggerrated for two insidious purposes:
1. To promote the "climate change agenda" by convincing people man-made climate change was partially responsible for both the frequency of recent hurricanes and their increasing strength
2. To scare people into buying bottled water
Of course, being Rush Limbaugh, he monologued about this for an insane amount of time (you can read the transcript here, if you're into masochism), but that's basically what it boiled down to - Irma wasn't a big deal and was unlikely to hit South Florida in any significant way.
That was the beginning of the week - since then, Irma has decimated large portions of the Caribbean and is approaching Florida as a Category 4 storm...so Limbaugh is evacuating.
Mark Steyn is filling in on Rush Limbaugh's radio show today, because Rush has had to evacuate his FL home/studio.-- Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 8, 2017
Yep - on Thursday's show, Limbaugh said:
"May as well... announce this. I'm not going to get into details because of the security nature of things, but it turns out that we will not be able to do the program here tomorrow. We'll be on the air next week, folks, from parts unknown."
At no point in his program did he apologize for claiming that Hurricane Irma warnings were a hoax nor did he encourage his listeners to also evacuate. So within the span of the week, Limbaugh went from a hurricane truther to evacuating due to the same hurricane he had tried to convince his audience was no big deal.
Although, honestly, I think the most embarrassing aspect of all of this is this image Rush included in his transcript: