Donald Trump

Ivanka Trump’s ‘US Weekly’ cover is so dumb, it had to be memed

Image: Getty Images

Ivanka Trump, the sentient magazine perfume sample who was supposed to save us all, came out with a fiery public statement in US Weekly today: sometimes, she disagrees with her dad.

!!!!!!!!!

The magazine’s cover did what it could to buttress Ivanka’s reformer image/struggling brand. “Ivanka takes a stand,” its cover reads, “Why I disagree with my dad.

But the internet couldn’t help but point out the painful glaring hypocrisies.

Ivanka, a one-time Democratic donor with actual human manners, was…

Why I’m Launching TrumpiLeaks… A Letter From Michael Moore

Friends,

I need one of you to help me. It might get dangerous. It may get us in trouble. But we’re running out of time. We must act. It’s our patriotic duty.

From the time you opened this letter to the time you get to the bottom of it, there’s a decent chance that our president will have violated the constitution, obstructed justice, lied to the American people, encouraged or supported acts of violence, or committed some horrible mistake that would’ve ended any other politician’s career (or sent you or I to jail). And just like all the times he’s done so in the past, he will get away with it.

Donald Trump thinks he’s above the law. He acts like he’s the above the law. He’s STATED that he’s above the law. And by firing Sally Yates, Preet Bharara and James Comey (3 federal officials with SOME authority to hold him accountable) he’s taken the first few steps to make it official.

And yet, we keep hearing the same reaction to President Trump that we heard with candidate Trump after every new revelation or screw up ― “He’s toast!” “He can’t survive this!” “He’s finished!”

Make no mistake ― Donald J. Trump has NO intention of leaving the White House until January 20, 2025. How old will you be in 2025? That’s how long he plans to be your president. How much damage will have been done to the country and the world by then?

And that is why we must act.

As I’ve said since the election, we need a four-front strategy to end this carnage: 1. Mass Citizen Action 2. Take Him To Court Nonstop 3. YOU Run for Office 4. An Army of Satire

I’m doing everything that I can, publicly and privately, to aid this effort and I know that you are, too. And while quietly working on my new movie, I came across an old video that inspired me to write you today to ask for help.

In this video, a former congressman is passionately testifying about the importance of whistleblowers and need to protect the First Amendment. He stated:

Enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution, we all know, are these words: Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. The freedom of speech and the press form the bedrock of our democracy by ensuring the free flow of information to the public. Although Thomas Jefferson warned that, “Our liberty cannot be guarded…

Trump Twitter bot reminds us that all his tweets are coming from the White House

The often flippant, emotional stream of tweets from President Trump never ceases to amaze, particularly since it is, for all intents and purposes, filled with official messages from the White House.

Now, thanks to one clever Twitter user, we can view those often bombastic, poorly worded, and downright trivial tweets in their proper context: official White House statements.

On Sunday, Twitter user Russel Neiss launched a new Twitter bot called Real Press Sec., which takes Trump’s tweets and presents them in the familiar form of an official White House press statement. The effect of seeing Trump’s social media bloviation as history-framed, official-looking statements from the nation’s highest office is devastatingly poignant.

The alt-right’s worldwide weaponization of memes

Image: mashable/Christopher Mineses

Pepe has made his way to France.

Of the many wildly unpredictable aspects of the 2016 election, the usage of memes by a fiercely active, populist conservative movement stands alone.

Using easily shareable and emotionally driven images to promote nationalist conservative politics, internet meme evangelists believe that they had a direct impact on the election, carrying Donald Trump all the way to the White House.

Six months later, this coordinated movement has taken their Great Meme War overseas to help elect Marine Le Pen, candidate of the far right National Front Party, as the next president of France.

“This is a global movement because people around the world are being forced to accept a globalist agenda that benefits the few at the expense of our nations, our cultures, and our peoples,” the moderators of the subreddit r/The_Donald said about their campaign. “Memes, humor, images, and videos that people come up with … draw people in… Meme magic works if you have the right message/plan.”

Seemingly emboldened by Trump’s electoral win, the weaponization of memes has been codified into something that mirrors the form of a social movement.

That movement has zeroed in the French election.

Allons meme!

France will elect their next president in a run-off election on May 7, when Le Pen — currently the face of extreme populism — will face Emmanuel Macron, a centrist from the En March! party. Thanks to Brexit, an increase in terrorist attacks throughout France, and the election of Donald Trump, the election is now the center of international attention.

In the months leading up to the election, American nationalists have taken their brand of online activism across the Atlantic, working hard to spread their message to the people of France. Some have even created best practice guidelines for using virality to push Le Pen to a win, while others have more deviously pretended to be French in order to better spread their partisan memes, as reported by BuzzFeed.

The American assistance has not been unwelcome. French meme-makers have deftly accepted the baton and are vocal about “Making France Great Again,” even offering tips on how best to fight the Great Meme War on French shores. One post in Reddit’s r/LePen forum explained that though French people might not be super familiar with Pepe, the oddly-shaped cartoon frog that became a standard bearer for the alt-right, the community should readily use memes with him.

“There is no doubt that French people will react positively to dank Pepes, the danker the better,” the post by TortueGeniale666 read. “No need to hold back, use Pepe the way he is the most efficient: destroy Political Correctness.”

Following this advice, the community has not held back and have focused their attacks on what they see as the immigrant threat to France, and on Macron himself. Images invoking terror attacks, memes of Muslims in France (suggesting an overrun country), and emasculating pictures of Macron have been widely spread on Facebook, Twitter, 4chan, and Reddit. As they did during the 2016 U.S. election, users want these memes to be easily shared, replicated, and provoke an emotional response, enough so to hopefully sway voters.

Image: Storyful

This particular meme factory believes that they are spreading the will of a greater population than just their own; crossing international boundaries to do is a matter of duty in the fight as what they perceive to be dominant, malevolent forces like the mainstream media.

Many right-leaning meme-makers exude confidence, sure that their populism knows no global boundaries — memes, to them, are just an extremely effective tool to harness a movement and center it on a target.

“There exists a massive internet subculture devoted to creating these masterpieces and distributing them,” Reddit user DecoySlug said. “This means that the idea of meme magic is not confined to a specific region but is rather spread over the world. An example is the French who are now using memes to support Le Pen.”

The memes have indeed shown support for Le Pen and trashed her opponents, and the community was rewarded when Le Pen thanked her fans for the internet bravado, much as Trump did when he visited r/The_Donald for an AMA last summer, back when he was merely a presidential candidate.

“At the end of the first round, I thank the Internet activists of the #patriosphere, mobilized since the beginning of this campaign,” her tweet read, referring to the alt-right nationalist movement that supports her.

The message added confidence to the web’s alt-right activists, who feel that they are not only helping to elect Le Pen, but are actively involved with educating the masses in a hope for their future. All this, through memes.

“The goal of weaponizing memes is to get a message across to as many people as possible,” DecoySlug said. “With a well-made meme, a poignant point can be made in a format that allows it to be shared and distributed throughout the internet. In this way, these memes can have an actual and profound effect on people.”

James Cohen, Program Director and Assistant Professor of New Media at Molloy College had a different take on the message that was being spread through the alt-right channels. He believes that the meme-makers ultimately want to disrupt conventional thinking and create more noise so that signals like traditional media and establishment governmental messages are distorted. The alt-right hope their reactionary ideas will grow dominant through their self-created static.

“It’s less about the message being delivered than about the obfuscation of the message,” Cohen said. “The heavier the obfuscation, the less time there will be to do critical thinking. If they can do that, they believe the populism will prevail, because only those with clarity will be able to make the right decision. But the thing is, no one will be clear.”

For many supporters of Trump, Le Pen, and memes, the goal is simple and universal: nationalism.

A Reddit user named Spartharios, who said they lived in Bulgaria, had a basic outlook for what the community should use memes to accomplish.

“Ultimately, the goal of the whole culture of memes and ‘meme magic’ is to spread our political message, which is nationalism and a right to self-determination of all peoples,” Spartharios said simply.

However, Florian Cramer, lecturer in 21st century visual culture at…

Alec Baldwin defends Kathy Griffin after Donald Trump photo controversy

Alec Baldwin has come to Kathy Griffin's defense.
Alec Baldwin has come to Kathy Griffin’s defense. (Getty Images)

Alec Baldwin has Kathy Griffin’s back.

The 59-year-old actor, who played President Donald Trump on last season of “Saturday Night Live,” took to Twitter on Friday to defend Griffin amid the backlash over her controversial photo shoot.

WATCH: Kathy Griffin Breaks Down in Tears Defending Controversial Donald Trump Photo: ‘He Broke Me’

“Kathy….baby…I’ve been there,” Baldwin wrote before referencing his own political drama in 1998, when he joked about then-Representative Henry Hyde on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

“The whole Henry Hyde thing w Conan, where we bring out an oxygen mask at…

Alec Baldwin Defends Kathy Griffin in Wake of Trump Photo Controversy: ‘Ignore Him’

Not all Donald Trumps are mad at comedian Kathy Griffin after she posed with a fake bloodied, severed head of the 45th President of the United States.

Alec Baldwin — who has portrayed the 70-year-old former reality star on NBC’s Saturday Night Live since September 2016 — stood by Griffin in a series of tweets on Friday night.

“Kathy… f— them them. F— them all,” Baldwin, 59, wrote. “No one believes you meant to threaten Trump. Trump is such a senile idiot, all he has is Twitter fights.”

“Ignore him,” Baldwin continued. “Like the leaders of all the other countries in the world. Ignore him.”

The two-time Emmy-winning actor likened the situation Griffin is going through to a political controversy he dealt with in 1998 — when he joked about then-Rep. Henry Hyde on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

“Kathy… baby… I’ve been there,” he said. “The whole Henry Hyde thing with Conan, where we bring out an oxygen mask at the end? A joke. That’s what I thought. That’s what we intended. No one walked out of the studio and said, ‘No! We’re serious!’ No one. But all your gutless, weasels in the GOP insisted that I actually threatened Hyde. They played the victim beautifully.”

Indeed, many members of the GOP including Trump slammed Griffin after the photo came out —saying the 56-year-old jokester “should be ashamed of herself” for the photo, taken by celebrity photographer Tyler Shields.

“My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time…

Kathy Griffin’s Donald Trump press conference makes the D-list

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — You didn’t have to be two feet away from comedian Kathy Griffin at the press conference podium Friday morning, as I was, to see that this media event only worsened a still-spiraling disaster.

But it sure helped to see close-up the damage from this misguided effort, following the release of a Tyler Shields photograph featuring Griffin holding a fake, severed head of President Donald Trump.

As Griffin entered the too-small conference room with her attorney Lisa Bloom, she appeared startled, inhaling sharply. Every inch of space was occupied with reporters from USA TODAY, NBC, ABC, Extra, TMZ. E! News, Entertainment Tonight. And so on. Cameras were rolling.

A post shared by Bryan Alexander (@thebryanalexander) on Jun 2, 2017 at 5:50pm PDT

But it was apparent from that moment that the star of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-list was in over her head from the raging waters of this national controversy of her own creation.

It was only Tuesday that Griffin posted the graphic, bloody picture. As even the president’s harshest critics (Chelsea Clinton!) joined Trump himself on Twitter in decrying the sight, a clearly distraught Griffin pulled back. She posted a hastily put-together apology video saying, “I went way too far.” The blight was removed.

In an emotional statement, comedian Kathy Griffin says she thinks President Trump ‘broke her.’

USA TODAY

Friday’s press conference only…

Trump withdraws from Paris agreement and all but hands Al Gore an Oscar

The polar ice caps could melt, the oceans might rise, and maybe someday Manhattan will be underwater because President Trump withdrew from the Paris climate agreement. Speculative science aside, the immediate analysis indicates that Trump just set Al Gore up for another Oscar.

Gore will release a sequel to his 2006 global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, later this July. And while the former vice president already planned to cast Trump as the environmental villain, the perfectly-timed exit from the emissions agreement only heightens the drama.

“Removing the United States from the Paris Agreement is a reckless and indefensible action,” Gore said Thursday in an advertisement in the costume of a political statement. But if Gore was being honest right now, he’d be thanking Trump.

Sean Spicer shuts down the White House press corps

If the U.S. remained in the climate agreement or if there was a Democrat in the White House right now, there’d be fewer audience members…

Kathy Griffin: Trump is ‘trying to ruin my life’ after photo scandal

Kathy Griffin speaks during a press conference at The Bloom Firm on June 2, 2017 in Woodland Hills, California.
Kathy Griffin speaks during a press conference at The Bloom Firm on June 2, 2017 in Woodland Hills, California.

(CNN)Kathy Griffin is fighting back against the abuse and “death threats” she has received in light of controversial images released earlier this week that showed the comedian holding up a bloody head resembling that of President Donald Trump.

In a news conference on Friday, Griffin’s attorney Lisa Bloom accused Trump and his family of “using their power to target her.”

“If you don’t stand up, you get run over,” Griffin said. “What’s happening to me has never happened in this great country. A sitting president of the U.S. … is…

Elon Musk Quits Trump’s Councils in Protest

Article Image

President Trump announcement that the U.S. is going to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change has prompted a strong backlash from business leaders. Many have urged Trump to stay in the environmental pact, like the other 194 nations that signed it, and are now expressing their disappointment. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, SpaceX and Neuralink, has previously warned that he would have to leave the President’s councils if Trump pulled out of the Paris accord. And now that he did, Musk is out.

“Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,” said Musk in his tweet.

Musk was part of an economic advisory board Strategic and Policy Forum and the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. He has taken flak previously for seemingly legitimizing Trump’s ideas by serving in such a capacity, a decision Musk defended by saying he used the access to the the President in order to influence him not to leave the Paris Agreement and to institute a carbon tax to fight emissions.

Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017

Other business titans also expressed their strong disapproval of Trump’s actions, which is now reported to be based in part on misinterpreting data from MIT scientists. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger also quit the President’s councils in protest over the decision, saying it’s a “matter of principle”.

As a matter of…