Political scientist and fierce Donald Trump critic Ian Bremmer took to Twitter with a bit of whimsy Sunday to claim that President Trump was quoted as saying North Korean leader “Kim Jong Un is smarter and would make a better president than Sleepy Joe Biden.”
The tweet was screen-captured by the DC Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy, along with Bremmer’s admission that it is not an accurate quote, but “a comment on the state of media and the Twitterverse today.”
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) May 26, 2019
So a well-known and Twitter-verified liberal blasted a fake quote from the president, which was then tweeted by a member of Congress and other prominent accounts, and it’s not social media promoting fake news, it’s just media commentary.
See, earlier this week Rudi Giuliani tweeted a video of Nancy Pelosi. It was slowed down, perhaps to make her appear less lucid, and the left insisted this was a severe violation of our norms and that social media companies must remove the video.
Bremmer’s tweet is now deleted, as is another in which he said, “This is objectively a completely ludicrous quote. And yet kinda plausible. Especially on Twitter, where people automatically support whatever political position they have. That’s the point.” But the original tweet was retweeted more than 1,000 times. And the image is still on Twitter in the form of screen captures.
So let’s ask ourselves which is a worse form of political propaganda: a slowed-down video tape, which is a common tool in political ads, or a blatant falsification of the words of the sitting president, basically accusing of him of treason? Will we have calls to investigate Twitter for allowing this tweet on their platform? Will Bremmer be banned from the website, as many conservatives have?
Consider that the very reason he tweeted this lie, in his own words, is that he thought it would be plausible on Twitter. He wasn’t making the point that it was plausible (which, by the way, makes no sense if it’s also “objectively a completely ludicrous quote”), he was making it plausible by using the platform and his esteemed position on it to give the lie gravity. It clearly wasn’t a joke. Maybe it was an ill-conceived experiment, but whatever he thought he was doing it was just a flat-out lie.
This is a good lesson for those who lecture us that experts and fact-loving professionals should have more control over what social media is distributed. Supposedly Bremmer is one of these people, and he just pushed a bunch of fake garbage on social media.
I won’t hold my breath for the outraged reaction from the left. It’s always somehow different when they do it.