[this post has updates below where indicated]
— Will's National Media 'Both Sides' Reform School (@bywillpollock) September 27, 2016
As readers of this blog already know, I terminated Monday’s presidential-debate liveblog 31 minutes in. I couldn’t stomach trying to deconstruct policy and fact-check claims when one of the candidates treated the event with such little respect.
In both style and substance, Donald Trump was the angry, spittle-and-cracker-crumbs covered uncle who only watches Fox News and buys his tube socks at Wal-Mart.
With a huge h/t to Rob “Reenage” O’Connor, I was able to redirect my ire and step in to the warm Calgon Bath of Scott Bateman’s Tumblr charts, which chronicle Donald Trump’s lies, mistruths and misstatements over 24-hour periods. The charts are as simple as they are breathtaking.
Scott has graciously agreed to answer some questions for me on his work, so I’ll post an update here once I hear back. Watch this space.
UPDATE: After a quick e-mail interview, it’s clear that Scott Bateman fields a great deal of Trump material to work with. He adds that people are starting to see the service-journalism side of graphical fact-checking.
“Luckily, more media outlets are calling out the lies,” he says. “Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star has started putting out daily lists, plus The New York Times, Washington Post and others are publishing lists of lies and misstatements as well. Then I’ll find others in just the general Trump coverage, or retweeted on Twitter. During the debate, I was making a list live. And of course, these charts are just a sampling of the day’s lies—I miss many, and he repeats many on a daily basis.”
All of it seems to be in service to Trump’s self-image, which is a horrible, horrible type of person to put in charge of everything. — Scott Bateman
Bateman says that he’s never once heard from the Trump camp, but hears frequent whining from under various rocks. “Trump fans insist I’m lying about the lies; and dude-bros (always men) who want me to give Hillary the same treatment.”
Trump’s shady dealings and blatantly obvious falsehoods are a never-ending waterfall, he adds.
“The reason I started making these particular charts was to get at the sheer volume of lying coming from Trump on a daily basis, to turn that into a visual that gets that idea across. To show people he not only lies about the big stuff but little stuff too. And all of it seems to be in service to his self-image, which is a horrible, horrible type of person to put in charge of everything.”
Note to the cast of Friends: See? reunions ain’t so hard! and you can pick right up where you left off, no sweat.
But this mini-reunion of Will & Grace is with a purpose: to denigrate with predictable hilarity the “Orange is the new Dick” candidate Donald J. Trump.
“You know that Donnie is one of my oldest friends,” says a wistful Karen Walker. “I helped him pick out Melania.”
The entire team re-assembled rather quickly, as People reports, including famed director James Burroughs. As you’ll remember, they fetted Burroughs earlier in the year (without Debra Messing), along with the cast of Friends—sans Matthew Perry.
Which brings me to my point: we need a Friends reunion. You can do it people… there’s big money to be made here, and foots are a tappin’.
What is “awesome”? That’s the question I’m going to ponder throughout the month of October. As it turns out, October is both National Pizza Month and National Bullying Prevention Month. So I’m going to bring attention to both with an #AwesomeIs campaign—where I drop in to Facebook and Twitter and randomly post the awesome things my friends are doing.
Why am I doing this? Well, social media may be a huge way people express themselves these days, but it can also lend itself to being a faceless, impersonal vehicle that holds no consequences for angry people who lash out for no reason.
My first “victim” is someone whom I’ve never met, but came to know in an unusual way. I did an image search for “awesome is” to get inspiration for what to write and post. And in that search I found this graphic “HEY. YOU’RE AWESOME.” It’s the perfect illustration of what I was trying to say.
And in my effort to credit the creator of this graphic—see the teeny, tiny watermark in the bottom right?—I realized I found my first #AwesomeIs installment.
Meagan Kerr is a plus-size fashionista in Auckland, New Zealand, blogging and Facebooking her way through the fashion world. She is the epitome of stigma-busting and unqualified acceptance and love. Her website disclaimer says it all:
“Please note that this is a body positive space and any kind of body-shaming will not be tolerated. While your comments are welcomed and discussion is encouraged, I reserve the right to remove comments that I view as offensive, including (but not limited to) remarks that are racist, sexist, homophobic or are in any way derogatory.”
Just by doing this one drill-down search for the author of the graphic, I have a new heroine halfway around the world. And that’s the perfect place to start: #AwesomeIs Meagan Kerr.
So. Bullying behind a keyboard takes a special kind of cowardice. And it’s time people starting being just as conscious online as they are in real life.
What’s the best antidote for that? Spreading love.
This October will be a celebration of pizza and love, and in some very specific cases—how the two intertwine. Always be good to each other, even the cashier at the supermarket. You never know when you might make someone’s day.
That’s a wrap guys. We’ll see you back here next Thursday at 2 p.m.
Will Pollock is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist focusing on retail, real estate, travel, politics and human interest. He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.
Make sure to comment often—cranky loves company.