Jim Gaffigan in front of a blue background, looking at the camera.

Things We Saw Today: Jim Gaffigan Shares “What I’ve Learned Since I Lost My Mind” With His Anti-Trump Twitter Storm

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Last week, famously apolitical comedian Jim Gaffigan finally broke and went on an extended Twitter rant in response to Donald Trump’s many, many lies. During Trump’s bizarre and illegal speech at the Republican National Convention, Gaffigan let loose, calling Trump out as the fascist con man he is.

Gaffigan’s politics shouldn’t be surprising to anyone since, as he himself said in a recent Facebook post, he “made jokes about Trump in my last three specials and have repeatedly expressed support for gay rights and Black Lives Matter on social media.” But he also has an incredibly broad appeal with his Midwestern roots and his consistently clean language (until last week, that is). And so a lot of Trump-supporting fans of Gaffigan were surprised and they let him know it.

In that lengthy Facebook post I mentioned, Gaffigan explains his reasons for speaking out, as well as what he’s learned in the days since. The whole thing is worth a read but here are some interesting bits:

There are way more bots out there than most people realize. Gaffigan says that rather than trying to respond to all the angry MAGA people in his mentions, he focused on one woman as a sort of surrogate for all the angry and condescending comments. Personally, I don’t think that was the best way to go since doing so sets that person up for a major pile-on, especially since the person he chose only has about 1500 followers.

But as it turns out, it wasn’t a person at all—”Valerie Bekebrede,” whose avatar looks like the kind of white, 40-something, suburban woman Trump is always rambling about—is a bot.

“While equally hilarious and frightening, this was revealing to me,” writes Gaffigan. Why was I the target of bots? Was it a Russian bot? A Trump bot? Is Trump a bot?”

“Republican talking points work.” While it might be obvious to anyone actually paying attention to what Joe Biden does and says, he is not a radical socialist looking to take everyone’s guns and destroy the suburbs. But a lot of people really do believe that. “And let’s not forget we laughed Trump all the way into the White House in 2016. That’s why I think we shouldn’t make that same mistake twice. The stakes are too high.”

Trump’s supporters take attacks on him personally. “It doesn’t matter that Trump and his folks are breaking laws, trying to kill Obamacare, pre-existing conditions or that his handling of the pandemic was disastrous, to Trump voters he is THEIR guy. More importantly he’s “THEIR president” and disagreeing with them is a personal insult. For many Trump voters this isn’t about any other issue except Trump himself. To me that is not only weird but kind of scary.”

Read the whole post here (via LA Times):

  • I’m not driving much these days but Waze just added Kevin Conroy’s voice to their list of navigators which means you can get directions from Batman, so I think I need to start back up. (via Nerdist)
  • The 2013 baseball drama 42, starring Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson, is being re-released into theaters and tickets will only be $5. If I were going to risk a movie theater for anything right now, this would be it. (via Variety)
  • Internet searches for “panic attacks” are at an all-time high and yup, that tracks. (via HuffPost)
  • Lovecraft Country now has a VR offshoot. That doesn’t sound terrifying at all.

  • Today’s Google doodle honors Black cartoonist and activist Jackie Ormes. (via USA Today)
  • If you haven’t been paying attention to the Bella Thorne/OnlyFans mess, this is a good explainer, up through her apology to the site’s users. (via Pajiba)
  • Incredible:

What did you all see out there today?

(image: Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.