This election has often felt like people are living on two different planets, and nowhere is that contrast more stark than with the Wikileaks email dumps.
If you are a Trump supporter, a “Bernie or Bust” devotee, or named Glenn Greenwald, the illegally obtained emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign adviser are proof of what you’ve believed all along. Clinton is a corrupt, two-faced liar in bed with Wall Street and a warmonger to boot. If you are literally anybody else on the planet, the emails are boring, mundane, and hardly seem worthy of the effort involved in stealing them.
It hasn’t stopped the press from publishing everything they can. One email written by an unhappy low-level staffer referred to Chelsea Clinton as a “brat” – so Politico wrote an entire story about it. Another email was campaign adviser John Podesta’s risotto recipe – it was covered extensively by several major papers. In all of the emails, not a single scandal was uncovered, but that wasn’t an issue. A bunch of fake ones were invented to fill the void.
If you are someone who just can’t figure out what the big deal is, don’t worry, it’s not just you. Politico might feel the need to cover every leaked email with breathless sensationalism, but most people find themselves struggling to see where the “news” is in all of this.
Which takes us to James Poniewozik, a New York Times tv critic who managed to expertly troll the kinds of silly reporters coming out about the leaks. In a tweet titled “BREAKING: Wow. I don’t say this very often, but this is a game-changer,” Poniewozik gives what appears to be a major scoop from Wikileaks. On closer inspection, a reader will see the rug has been pulled out from under them.
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) October 15, 2016
Others joined in, including a hilarious “redacted” version by director Duncan Jones, that made the nonsense statements sound even more sinister.
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) October 16, 2016
Increasingly, the world is being seen through two distinct lenses. The hacked emails provide an inkblot test. Think Clinton is “crooked,” you’ll probably find ammo. Think she has run a clean campaign? The emails will support that theory, too. What Poniewozik’s satirical take on the situation proves is that just slapping the name “Wikileaks” and highlighting a few sentences for emphasis can change the interpretation of the information presented. From harmless to scandal in no time.
Featured image via Ethan Miller/Getty Images