Today, we confront the Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi’s classic conundrum: Who’s the more foolish — the fool, or the fool who follows him?
“Covfefe” is a word that Donald Trump “invented” early Wednesday morning — at 12:06 a.m. EST precisely — when he was tweeting about the rough treatment the media’s given him, but then trailed off into a terminal typo: “covfefe.”
It seems he meant “coverage,” as in: “Despite the constant negative press coverage,” which he almost tweeted.
But instead he tweeted “covfefe.”
(Is it, though?)
I logged onto Twitter for all of six seconds Wednesday morning for patently unimportant reasons only to find myself awash in “covfefe” memes, jokes, and — inevitably — takes, all as burning hot as the dying star that will inevitably engulf this planet. Donald Trump had tweeted “covfefe” without so much as a second thought, and the president’s critics seized on the tweet and then spent the overnight hours plus all of Wednesday morning memeing “covfefe” into oblivion.
Mind you, we’re talking about assorted Media Twitter here, so it goes without saying that none of these memes are good or funny. Imagine storyboarding dozens of “covfefe” tweets for 10 hours only to find that none of them are more interesting than the typo that Trump farted out in the first place. (On Wednesday, Trump processed the photographer Tyler Shields’s stunt depiction of Kathy Griffin holding Trump’s bloody, severed head as an outrage circus of his own.)
In January, a few days after Trump took office, I wrote about how the president metabolizes all criticism and conflict surrounding him as entertainment. At this point, the media has taken on the heavy lifting and we are now producing the president’s entertainment ourselves.
“Covfefe” looks French. The idea of Trump code-switching into obscure French is, inherently, a bit funny. It is less funny, however, after seeing the internet, including the news media, murmur “covfefe” in the hushed but purposeful manner of a movie killer in chains. To the movie killer, of course, such odd chanting sounds like natural speech by which he’s articulating some totally sensible observation of the world around him.
Several hours after the fact, Trump capitulated to Twitter’s sick burns and deleted his original “covfefe” tweet. He then, in a follow-up tweet by which he seemingly meant to save face, invited followers to play a guessing game regarding the true, hidden meaning of his imaginary word. Donald Trump gamified the gamification of his meaningless typo. It’s as if Trump does in fact realize that he is nothing if not a content opportunity, a chance for the news media to exercise only its most overeager, embarrassing judgment, which maybe explains how a nation that is now under the spell of a former TV game-show host came to take journalism for granted. If I had to guess — as this game’s latest victim — I’d say “covfefe” means “coffee.” Despite the constant negative press coffee. It’s funny. (Is it, though?)