In the latest episode of "Keeping Up With the Kushners" or whatever the hell show this is, it has not been a great week for Jared, the president's baby-faced son-in-law. What's a polite way to put this? Well, the Kushner brand is ... suffering. Can he flip the script? Why can't his father-in-law's friend Steve and Jared just get along? Can Jared's wife, Ivanka, tell her dad to tell Steve to stop being so mean to Jared? Stay tuned! Anyway, let's get started ...
1. Right before news broke last night that the U.S. had launched a missile strike against Syria, #SyriaHoax was trending on Twitter. What was that about? Basically, a bunch of people who are very vocal on social media -- including diehard Trump supporters (or now, perhaps, former diehard Trump supporters) -- think that the images of carnage that we've been seeing from Syria have been faked by sinister forces that want to drum up war. These four tweets from, uh, different POVs will help you understand:
We don't want war in Syria!! Don't believe the #SyriaHoax, we need to focus on our own country right now. America First.— Baked Alaska™ (@bakedalaska) April 6, 2017
Though #SyriaHoax is fodder for Trump's base of conspiracy imbeciles, if Trump wages war, it's only to change the subject away from Russia.— Bill Madden (@activist360) April 6, 2017
2. This is ... not good: "US air strikes in Syria: Russia suspends agreement preventing direct conflict with American forces," per Britain's The Independent. Oh, and by the way: "Trump's airstrike raises questions about congressional approval," per ABC News. Let's dwell for a moment on the words "Trump's airstrike." Former reality TV star Donald Trump called an airstrike. Got that? Moving on ...
3. "Donald Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon has called the president's senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner a 'cuck' and a 'globalist' during a time of high tension between the two top aides, several Trump administration officials told The Daily Beast," writes that website's Asawin Suebsaeng. More details:
One official said Bannon has lately complained about Kushner trying to "shiv him and push him out the door" and likened him to a fifth column in the White House. "[Steve] recently vented to us about Jared being a 'globalist' and a 'cuck'… He actually said 'cuck,' as in 'cuckservative,'" the administration official told The Daily Beast. "Cuckservative," a portmanteau of "cuckold" and "conservative," has become a favorite slur on the right, used like a sexually and racially charged version of "RINO," a Republican In Name Only. "Globalist" is a term typically used by nationalist, pro-Trump right-wingers against political opponents; however, the term has also come under fire for at times carrying anti-Semitic tones. (Kushner is Jewish.)
Bonus: Some perspective from Politico's Alex Isenstadt and Andrew Restuccia: "Civil war rages throughout Trump administration" (subhead: "Trump campaign staffers are squaring off against establishment GOP types in federal agencies -- and the casualties are piling up").
4. Meanwhile, over on the home page of Steve Bannon's old stomping grounds, Breitbart News, this headline: "Jared Kushner Hires Top Hollywood Publicist for White House Post."
5. Speaking of Jared Kushner (yes, still), Adam Weinstein's "Jared Goes To Iraq! A Picture Story" -- which adds captions to public-domain photos from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's official Flickr photostream -- will help you truly understand Donald Trump's son-in-law and all that he's doing for his wife's dad. One key passage comes late in the story:
Now all he has to do is go home, push one of his father-in-law's other helpers out of the National Security Council, address the use of chemical weapons by the Iran and Russia-supported Syrian Assad regime, take care of ISIS and al Qaeda, run the new Office of American Innovation, broker peace in the Middle East, run all of the United States' diplomatic relations with Canada, China, and Mexico, reform America's criminal justice system, and solve the country's opioid crisis, with help from the man who sent his dad to jail.
Seriously, though, you need to see the whole picture story.
6. This image, posted on Imgur and shared widely on Reddit, has run up nearly 1 million views in less than 24 hours:
7. And finally ...
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.