Last week, we had an overwhelmingly positive response to the thoughts I shared from Twitter. My goal is that STEADY will reflect the interests of our digital community and incorporate feedback accordingly. So, back by popular demand, here is “My Week in Tweets.” I hope you enjoy the backstories and thoughts behind the 280 characters.
February 4 - February 11
Words matter. And I worry that the phrases we choose to describe this fraught and unprecedented political climate are often not up to the task. “Conspiracy theories,” connote outlandish ideas that are fringe, the rantings of the obsessed or possibly unhinged. There are certainly elements of all of that in what we’re seeing. But the physical, rhetorical, and systematic attacks on our democracy are much more mainstream, nefarious, and coordinated. These aren’t just crazy “theories,” they are a weapon to destabilize and ultimately destroy our democracy.
- Friday -
Thanks to an outpouring of voters in November, and buoyed by special elections in January, the Democrats have the narrowest of holds on unified government in Washington. Joe Biden watched firsthand when the Democrats, with far larger margins in Congress, were stymied by Republican obstructionism in the early years of the Obama administration. For those who thought President Biden would meet the moment with timidity and succumb to an undertow of seeking bipartisanship at all costs, well, it seems he has taken a different approach. Whether it is successful or not we will have to wait and see. But none of it would have been possible without Georgia.
I figured I could tackle the “Sleepy Joe” meme with some good old fashioned “Shady Dan Rather” (please excuse the third person reference). As a man of a certain age who finds nothing conflicting with getting things done and an occasional nap, this sleepy attack is personal.
- Saturday -
This remarkable report calculates another way to measure the cost of the lies about the election being spewed by the former president and his cynical allies. Just think about how many of the hungry could have been fed, the roads that could have been fixed, the nature that could have been protected with this money. President Trump’s business dealings have often left a wake of debt and broken promises. Should we be surprised that the final acts of his corrupt presidency would be any different?
- Sunday -
Sometimes the news of a life lost strikes with a reminder of the passage of time. For decades, reporting the news meant reporting on George Shultz, a stalwart of Republican administrations in a distant era. Like all of us, he was a person of his time, and had his blind spots and faults. But he was a far cry from what we are seeing today. A case in point, he cared passionately about climate change. It was actually the subject of my last interview with him several years ago, that I share again here.
Look, I am a reporter who got his start when television was a new-fangled tool of communication. That I have somehow made it this far into the digital age is a testimony to the help, support, and encouragement of those around me who are much more knowledgable, savvy, and let’s face it, just plain younger. When a “meme” started coursing around Twitter during the Super Bowl halftime performance by The Weeknd (no typo there,) I figured it was an opportunity to be a little “meta,” to use another term of the times.
- Monday -
Sure, there is important news everywhere. But sometimes, we must carve out time for the unusual, the wondrous, and the surprising. When I came across this article about mushrooms, I felt it might spark thought or brighten the feeds of some on Twitter, so I figured why not share it.
- Tuesday -
Let’s just say that the opening arguments from Donald Trump’s attorneys in the impeachment trial suggested they weren’t exactly Clarence Darrow.
- Wednesday -
The House managers in the impeachment trial put a bullseye on the truth. Their multimedia presentations and accompanying verbal explanations have laid out a set of facts that will be taught for generations to come. The smart money may be still betting on an acquittal in the Senate. But that is a verdict on those who will do the judging, and certainly not the merits of the case. My hope with this tweet was to put an exclamation point on everything I was seeing, and feeling.
- Thursday -
When I saw this image after a week where we saw videos of chaos and hate, I couldn't resist retweeting it. I will beg those who have spent considerable time lately digging out their cars and driveways to excuse the following flight of fancy. I can’t speak for Monet’s intentions but I view this as a visual representation of calm. A soft blanket of white covering the foreseeable distance, uninterrupted except for the quiet presence of a magpie. Perhaps in the days to come, we can all take a moment, a small moment, to sit in our own quiet presence.
Well, that’s a walk through my Twitter week. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember to leave a comment if you’re so inclined. And if you haven’t subscribed, please consider doing so. Or share with family and friends. Thanks for your support.