Sanders and Warren’s Big Debate Dust-Up Tops This Week’s Internet News Roundup

Let’s get this out of the way first: A lot of the chatter online last week has been about Ukraine. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, click these links to catch up. In other corners of the internet, though, things were different. In those realms, folks were excited about a green dog, talking about why both Watchmen and Mindhunter seem to be over, and discussing Taylor Swift’s new documentary for Netflix. Oh, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have successfully escaped the royal clutches, in case you were worried. Have other things been happening in the world? Read on.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s Big Debate Dust-Up

What happened: The truce between Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders seems to have, um, fallen apart.

What really happened: The first Democratic primary is just weeks away, and at this point it’s still anyone’s race. Former vice president Joe Biden seems to be in the lead, but not too far behind him are Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, two people who claimed to be friends up until this week, when this happened.

The reports—which emerged at a point when progressives were said to be moving support from Warren to Sanders—immediately became the subject of criticism from those sympathetic to the Sanders campaign, with a lot of pushback happening on Twitter.

There was, unfortunately, only one problem with asking Warren to comment on the story: Her statement might not be what some thought it would be.

Oh. With Warren’s confirmation, the story broke into the mainstream media, making headlines across the internet. Warren’s statement continued to polarize tensions between the candidates and, more importantly, between the candidates’ supporters, with Sanders partisans quickly mobilizing hashtags in response.

Others, meanwhile, had their eyes on the prize.

As all of this was unfolding online, there was a Democratic debate which ended with a moment that many couldn’t help but notice.

Turns out, there might have been a reason why she refused the handshake.

The exchanged was followed the next day by lots of hashtags and snake emoji on social media. You can rightly expect that this will continue to play out in the coming weeks.

The takeaway: Yeah, this is definitely not over.

Articles About Articles of Impeachment

What happened: After weeks of inaction, things are moving forward in the impeachment trial of President Trump. That said, they’re not moving especially quickly.

What really happened: Hey! Remember the fact that, about a month ago, President Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives? That sure seemed like a really big deal. Then, after it happened, it kinda stalled.

So much nothing happened, in fact, that there was talk of impeachment limbo as details about the Senate trial were being worked out.

Last Wednesday, it finally proceeded. Well, it started to, but hey, that’s something.

The whole process of sending the Articles of Impeachment—the case against the president, for want of a better way to put it—from the House to the Senate started with the selection ofimpeachment managers,” who will present the evidence to the Senate. Once the managers were selected, all that remained was for the Articles of Impeachment to be signed and delivered. Seems straightforward enough, right?

Oh, that old-school pomp and circumstance! Apparently too controversial for some, but it’s difficult to tell who is ready for that rough and tumble world of signings and … giving pens to staffers, I guess?

Anyway, the Senate got the Articles of Impeachment. So, what happened next? Some more ceremonial stuff.

Sure enough, on Thursday, the slow, slow process got started.

And now, everyone can get things properly underway, right? Well, not so much, as it turns out.

Remember: This is going to be a slow, slow process.

The takeaway: File under “Awkward Omens for the Weeks Ahead.”


What happened: Years after the hashtag first appeared, #OscarsSoWhite remains relevant.

What really happened: Now, the moment that (some of) you (probably) have all been waiting for: the announcement of this year’s Academy Award nominees! Yes, on Monday, Issa Rae and John Cho got up early to tell everyone who might be getting an Oscar next month. (Rae got to call out the Academy in the process, but we’ll get there soon enough.)

One of the wonders of social media is that the world gets to see filmmakers react in real time to the announcements, whether they got nominated —

—or not.

But enough about the people who make the movies, what did the people who watch the movies think? Let’s take a sampling of the responses; surely it’ll be positive, as everyone is always really happy with the Academy Award nominations, right?

OK, yes, that was a very male, very white list of nominees, and Joker’s success caused upset—although some feel it was appropriate, it should be pointed out. And, yes, Greta Gerwig and Lupita Nyong’o were robbed, as was Jennifer Lopez. All of that is undoubtedly true. But, still: Think of some of the lesser-considered options!

Actually, no, we’re pretty good with both of those being ignored, thanks very much.

The takeaway: Perhaps the real problem might be that people ever allowed themselves to believe that the Oscars mean that much in real terms in the first place. Seriously, when was the last time people were actually happy, overall, with the nominees in any given year, never mind the winners?

Champagne for My Real Friends

What happened: Who’d have thought that all that was needed to get people talking about reality television again was a mishap with some champagne? The key to success was right there, all along, just waiting in the green room!

What really happened: Over the last week, you might have noticed people sharing a GIF of a woman having a very hard time trying to drink from a champagne bottle. That incident, captured for all eternity, was from ABC’s The Bachelor—a moment soon immortalized as #ChampagneGate.

But, what was #ChampagneGate, anyway? Turns out, the answer was “something trashy enough to live up to the teases,” as well as proof that producers know what they’re doing when it comes to drawing attention to the show, for better or worse. For those of us who didn’t tune in, here’s a very basic synopsis.

Got that? Well, perhaps not, because nothing can compare to the response Twitter had to the whole thing as it unfolded on the show.

Some might wonder what the point of such a thing is, and whether or not it’s successful in getting people to pay attention. As if the linked coverage above—or the fact that we’re talking about it right now—wasn’t enough of an affirmative answer, consider the evidence as displayed on social media all week.

Producers, if you’re wanting your shows to be a success in the year 2020, it’s clear what you’ve got to do.

The takeaway: Of course, none of us are considering the painful double standard on display when it comes to the difference between reality television and, well, reality.

Moar Baby Yoda

What happened: Apparently, what happened on Disney+’s premiere series wasn’t a limited-time event, as Baby Yoda fever has gone so far as to even make Build-A-Bear a hot-spot destination. But who could resist his little grabby hands and big eyes?

What really happened: With The Mandalorian having finished its run last month, you might have thought that the coast was clear of Baby Yoda sightings until the show returns at the end of the year. But, dear friends, you’d be wrong.

Well. That’s a bit of a game changer. Especially when you see the actual doll.

Perhaps it’s not that much of a big deal, though. Yes, seeing the cute little green dude in action every week was thrilling, but this is 2020, and memes pass so quickly, surely we’re past the point of Baby Yoda mania, right?

Oh, wait, never mind. It somehow became actual news, thanks to all the hoopla arround the announcement. Indeed, the need was so great that many people could apparently visualize their journey to get their future plushie back home, where it will be loved and treated just right.

It’s Baby Yoda’s world now. We just live in it.

The takeaway: We’re just weeks into the year and we may have already discovered how half of the internet is going to spend its disposable income over the next 12 months. Is this a record?

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