Alex Jones vs. Piers Morgan Wins the Week on Twitter
Our Twitter Week in Review chart uses data collected and parsed for Ad Age by the What the Trend unit of HootSuite, the social-media management dashboard with more than 4 million users. We're back today, after a holiday hiatus, with Volume 37. Scroll down below the infographic for some context -- and watch for a fresh edition of our Twitter Week in Review each Friday.
- One of the most buzz-worthy viral videos of the week -- and, subsequently, a top trend on Twitter in the U.S. -- sprung from a somewhat unlikely source. CNN host and former British newspaper editor Piers Morgan has questioned the validity of the U.S.'s second constitutional amendment in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut. The result? A petition to have him deported that managed to provoke a response from the White House. (Spoiler alert: he's not going anywhere.) Morgan invited the guy behind the petition, outspoken libertarian radio host Alex Jones, on his show to discuss the matter. Instead of a conversation, Jones spent most of the segment shouting at Morgan about gun-violence statistics in the U.K and the U.S., mimicking Morgan's British accent and challenging him to a wrestling match. The most memorable moment of his tirade was his promise, delivered in an exaggerated Texas accent, that "1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms!"
Other conservative pundits, including Rush Limbaugh, have since distanced themselves from Jones, who is known for his 9/11 conspiracy theories. It's the stuff of viral video gold: It features an argument between two cultural opposites about an extremely heated and topical controversy, at the end of which supporters of each side can claim their party the winner (and thus, eagerly share the clip). The real winner? Everyone.
- The NBA was one of the week's hottest topics, especially thanks to trade rumors surrounding several notable injured players in LA. Public pressure is mounting for Lakers center Dwight Howard, who's been plagued with a shoulder injury this season, to be traded -- many say for the Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki. Same for Lakers forward Paul Gasol, who has already missed 10 games this season with knee tendinitis and is now out with a concussion.
- But that's not the only reason people on Twitter were talking basketball: The Celtics made the list after a heated game against the Knicks Monday night, during which Celtics forward Kevin Garnett allegedly insulted Anthony's wife, La La Vasquez, with some colorful similes involving breakfast cereal. After the game, Anthony challenged Garnett twice, which led to a one-game suspension and a $176,000 fine.
- Speaking of trash talk, WWE pro wrestler CM Punk lobbed fighting words against The Rock during Monday night's "WWE Raw," including a reference to himself as "God," and fans ate it up (before promptly regurgitating it all over Twitter).
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