Jon Stewart, Trump, and the Twitter War of 2013


Our very unPresidential President-Elect went on another Twitter rant tonight, attacking (via retweets) a reporter at CNN named Jeff Zeleny.  But that’s a story for tomorrow, because right now it’s a bit depressing to contemplate that the President-Elect publicly attacked a broadcast journalist in front of the entire world.

Instead, it would be far more enjoyable to recount an episode where, with a few tweets (assisted by a television show on basic cable), a person other than Elizabeth Warren was able to handily get the best of Trump on the medium he believes he masters.  And by the way, Trump does easily communicate his pithy little non-substantive thoughts in less than 140 characters.  It’s the long form of social media communication (e.g., Facebook) that requires Trump to actually sweat to form a coherent and cohesive message.  One of these days, he’ll go all Palinesque on us.  But I snarkily digress ….

It all started May 3, 2013.  I don’t remember exactly what kicked Trump off – perhaps Jon Stewart made a reference to Trump’s birtherism obsession on The Daily Show.  At any rate, Trump apparently decided to try and attack Jon with a series of tweets by disclosing that Jon’s birth name was Leibowitz.  Let me add here that any devotee of The Daily Show knew at that time that Jon’s full name is Jonathan Stewart Leibowitz.  Trump wasn’t disclosing anything surprising.  Here’s how he framed his first tweet:


Some people took the first tweet that referenced Jon’s “heritage” as a reference to the fact that he is Jewish.  Again, no surprise to anyone who even casually watched The Daily Show.  Over at the show’s offices, the staff was watching Trump’s tweets.  Soon they saw Trump’s second tweet to Jon:


And then Trump’s third tweet:


Again, this was an unprovoked attack, or at least nothing terribly memorable preceded it.  After a while, Jon and The Daily Show responded with:


And on the following night’s episode of The Daily Show, Jon displayed the above tweets, and said “Did you know Donald Trump’s birth name is Fuckface Von Clownstick?  That’s all over Twitter …. I hope.”  The show followed up by tweeting that line:


And, Twitter being the nasty little social medium that it is, followers of The Daily Show were soon tweeting with the hashtag #FuckFaceVonClownstick.

Apparently, the tweets with this hashtag really drove Trump crazy, because he proceeded to issue several tweets similar to these:


To which Jon issued the coup de grace:


Trump let it go, to my knowledge.  Jon recently recapped this story at a standup benefit this past October.

So it’s still quite difficult for me to actually be able to utter the words “President-Elect Tr …”.  I just can’t force it out of my mouth and haven’t been able to type those three words in contiguous or consecutive order.

I can, however, easily say “President-Elect FuckFace Von Clownstick”.  And sometimes I’ll just abbreviate it to FFVC.

Not many people are able to drive Trump crazy on Twitter and ultimately win.  Elizabeth Warren was able to do it, and she didn’t even have a basic cable show.  It might be interesting to someday see her go head-to-head with Jon Stewart.

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