The Way We Live Today: From Tweet to Meme in 14 Hours

The political branch of the intertubes today has been consumed by the question of whether the media is hopelessly biased because it treated Wendy Davis’ abortion filibuster more sympathetically than Ted Cruz’s kinda-buster on Obamacare. The whole fuss is so mind-crushingly inane that it’s enough to make one fear for the future of the human race, but still I’m curious: where did this meme get its start?

It apparently went mainstream in a Dylan Byers column posted today at 10:00 am. Dave Weigel says the meme was “codified” in a Tim Carney column posted a few minutes earlier at 9:44 am. Tom Kludt of TPM noted the invention of the meme an hour before that, at 8:57 am. He’s got tweets from Erick Erickson and Byron York from even earlier in the morning, and one from Richard Grenell late last night. But the earliest mention is from Laura Ingraham, who tweeted about this an hour before Grenell, at 8:20 pm last night.

But wait! Ingraham was retweeting Chad Seiter, who was responding to a dismissive tweet from Jennifer Rubin. Seiter’s tweet went up at 8:10 pm:

So as near as I can tell, that’s where it came from. A guy in Kentucky with 187 followers on Twitter got retweeted by Laura Ingraham, and by the next morning his tweet had morphed into a media bias meme that went viral. Congratulations, Chad! You won the internet today. Isn’t social media remarkable?


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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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