While You Were Offline: Pardon the President, He’s New at This

While you’re recovering from the tryptophan and the family-related trauma of Thanksgiving, it’s worth taking a moment to actually be grateful for the good things in life at least once more. Go ahead. Take a second. Done? OK, sweet, you’re going to need that because we’re about to delve into what the internet has been up to this last week, and… Friends, it’s not great. But then again, why should that be a surprise? If it’s not predictions about more earthquakes than usual next year, it’s the death of beloved 1970s pop stars, the potential of a tax overhaul that will raise taxes on millions of poor Americans, or impending war with North Korea. Still, at least there are small things to keep everyone happy, right?

Yeah, that’s the stuff. Hey, internet! What’ve you got for us this week?

I Trust I Can Rely on Your Vote

What Happened: After weeks of everyone wondering if/how it would ever happen, President Trump addressed the Roy Moore scandal. It went—well, you’ll see.

What Really Happened: For weeks in a row, Trump had managed to not comment on the sexual misconduct allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, even when he couldn’t resist going after Democratic Senator Al Franken over the latter’s own sexual harassment accusations. It was a smart move, considering the weight of the allegations against Moore, and his own history with alleged sexual abuse, not to mention the White House’s blanket denial of same. But on Tuesday, Trump stopped holding back.

Of course, this was big news, reported widely by the media, but in an unusual moment of coincidence—or, perhaps, merely reading the room and telling the truth—the New York Post and New York Daily News had the same thought for their headlines about it: “I’m With [the] Perv.”

The Takeaway: Sometimes, when talking about controversies, less is more.

Pardon the President, He’s New at This

What Happened: The holiday season is finally here, which can only mean one thing: It’s time for some presidential awkwardness. Hasn’t everyone been waiting all year for this?

What Really Happened: Of course, being President of the United States comes with a lot of responsibilities, including ensuring that turkeys get pardoned every year. For all the controversy that Trump brings to the office, surely he couldn’t make the annual turkey pardon weird, right?

But, really. Everyone was paying attention, it seemed. How bad could it actually be?

Indeed, the answer turns out to be, it could be very bad indeed. Or, to look at it another way, absolutely wonderful.

With the president announcing, hilariously, that he “felt so good about myself doing this,” suddenly, this joke doesn’t seem quite so overblown anymore:

The Takeaway: Turns out, there was an asterisk on the pardon this year, however.

And Now, Some Charles Manson Hot Takes

What Happened: Charles Manson died, and the internet responded as you might expect: crassly.

What Really Happened: This week saw the death of Charles Manson, at the age of 83. The cult leader, who was responsible for the murders of nine people including actress Sharon Tate in 1969, died of natural causes in prison while serving nine life sentences. His death was, as you would expect, widely covered across the media, but why read the news when you could cut straight to the opinion? And social media did not disappoint with a number of responses that, uh, fully convey the weight of Manson’s crimes and what he meant to culture in general. All aboard the Hot Takes Express!

Sober and respectful, I think we can all agree. And that’s saying nothing about the downright amazing number of tweets based around this idea:

(Really, everyone who did it: You weren’t alone. Not even slightly.)

The Takeaway: But, wait. This isn’t zeitgeist-y enough yet. If only there was a genuinely terrible hot take on Twitter that definitely hadn’t been thought through enough. There’s got to be one out there, right?

That’ll do it.

The Distracted Boyfriend Saga Continues

What Happened: Because nothing ever ends, the Distracted Boyfriend saga continues. And, unusually, the sequels might be even better than the original.

What Really Happened: Hey, remember the “Distracted Boyfriend” meme? You know, the one where the man is apparently ogling another woman while holding with his girlfriend? One man discovered that there was far more to their story than anyone suspected.

And even when the original poster left off, others followed up and found even more scandalous backstory:

But the tables apparently turned at some point…

Serves you right, Mario. (Yes, Mario. At some point, their names were discovered to officially be Mario and Laura; now you know.)

The Takeaway: OK, someone had to do it…

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