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Trump, Musk, Farage and Morgan: Like a superhero movie with no good guys

Welcome to Declassified, a weekly humor column.

Sometimes there’s no good guy, it’s just bad guy vs. bad guy.

This week we’ve seen Elon Musk (who, lest we forget, called his child X Æ A-XII — X and once live-tweeted himself taking a shit) have his bid accepted to buy Twitter, that notorious refuge for Russian bots, care home for people who are wrong about absolutely everything, and all-round hellhole.

The big question is whether Musk, who has said he wants to make Twitter a bastion for free speech, will let banned figures, such as spray-tan enthusiast Donald Trump, back in.

The former U.S. president may not yet be back on Twitter but he was back in the news this week after storming out of an interview with Piers Morgan, in a meeting pitting a man once described as a “mangled apricot hell beast” against one dubbed a “sentient ham.”

Trump vs Morgan is a bit like a football match in which not only do you not want either team to win but in which the only vaguely satisfactory result would be for the stadium to be lifted off the ground by a hurricane and dumped in the ocean.

The reason for Trump’s temper tantrum was, according to Morgan, that he was given a “dossier” listing all the criticism dished out by the British presenter over the past couple of years. Who handed over the dossier, you ask? None other than Brexiteer and brown noser-in-chief Nigel Farage (Trump, Morgan and Farage! I’m going to need about 30 showers after finishing this column).

Meanwhile, Farage provided some comedy gold this week. “For years I would gain 30,000 new Twitter followers per month and most tweets would get 5,000+ retweets,” he humblebragged. “Now I’ve had zero growth for 18 months & engagement is at an all-time low. It’s the same for thousands of others. Twitter’s algorithm now needs to change — and change fast!” He’s absolutely right, of course, to blame Twitter’s algorithm, rather than the fact that with no Brexit to champion and no pretend friend in the White House, Farage is about as relevant as a Betamax video player (younger readers, ask your grandparents).

Rumors that Vladimir Putin has been too busy waging war to direct his bot army to follow Farage on Twitter were unconfirmed at the time of going to press. Perhaps it’s something for Musk to look into once the takeover has been finalized.


“Hello and welcome to my TED Talk on how to deal with a midlife crisis.”

Can you do better? Email [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque

Last week we gave you this photo:

Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best from our postbag — there’s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze.

“The U.S. president and some guy with a blue tie,” by Alastair Gardner.

Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s Slot News Editor.

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