PHOENIX – Noting that he knows it’s “probably a bit obsessive” to have already sent you a combination of four news articles and think pieces related to President Donald Trump before noon, your friend from college promises that this Atlantic article will be the last item he shares with you today.
“You just have to read this last one,” he told you over Facebook chat, referencing an article accusing Donald Trump of offending Dick Cheney with his callous rhetoric. “It gave me chills. Dick Cheney of all people. Ugh.”
Sources confirm that you weren’t the only person to receive links over the Internet from your old undergrad buddy; he sent the same stories to a number of other college friends, including your roommate freshman year. In some cases, his comments attached to the articles — a rotating series of “I can’t believe this,” “[White House Chief Strategist Steve] Bannon really fucking scares me,” “He can’t really do that, can he?” and “This? This sounds like fascism” — were copied and pasted to different people without alteration.
The first two articles came while you were sleeping.
“I’ve been dying to talk about Trump,” he said in a message dated 5:39 a.m. which included a link to a Guardian piece reporting that Trump had offended literally all of Chicago’s 2.7 million residents following a recent trip to the city. “I must have missed this from last night.”
The next link he shared — a Daily Beast article discussing a New York Times article that featured recovered home video footage of Steve Bannon as a child, reciting passages of Mein Kampf to an audience of stuffed animals in his childhood bedroom — arrived at 7:15 a.m., minutes before your morning alarm goes off.
“Oh, how surprising,” your friend added sarcastically. “I’m shocked!”
You glanced over the articles but, because you slightly overslept your alarm, didn’t have time to reply to your friend. This prompted a series of panicked messages beginning at 8:03 a.m., including, “I’m sorry, I know, it’s early. I’ll tone it back,” “It’s just that Trump really scares me, like what are we supposed to do?” sent at 8:30 a.m., and finally, another article, a New York Times op-ed at 8:58 a.m. detailing a scenario in which Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest Supreme Court judge, passes away, allowing President Trump to appoint a new member to the United States’ highest judicial body.
“Ugh, I want to wake up,” your friend said. “Stop this nightmare.”
Per sources, your friend noticed that you saw, but did not reply to, his line of messaging. He withheld from sending anything else because he realized you were probably busy with work.
Almost two hours went by until your buddy sent you a Medium article at 11:10 a.m., outlining hidden anti-Semitic messages in White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s latest briefing. Your friend admitted the piece was “probably a bit of a conspiracy theory… but it does make you think.”
Sources confirm that you replied to your friend at 11:15 a.m., saying, “Haha, thanks for these, I’ll read them over lunch!” You then received a message from your friend at 11:15 a.m., saying, “Cool, let me know what you think!”
Thirty minutes later, at 11:47 a.m., your friend sent you the fifth piece of the day, along with the aforementioned promise that it would be the last article he shares today. One source notes that this promise has been made with increasing frequency over the past six months, and that your friend has an inconsistent track record with keeping his word on the matter.
At time of publishing, sources say that you aren’t actually sure if your friend is currently employed.