HC Wake-Up Call: NYT Op-Ed Author Accusations, Trump Rally, & Alex Jones' Twitter

Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Author of Infamous NYT Op-Ed Remains a Mystery

Both the internet and the White House have yet to discover who is behind the opinion piece published yesterday in The New York Times, titled, "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration. The Times made the rare move of granting the author — who claims to be a senior Trump administration official — anonymity, supposedly because his "job would be jeopardized" by the disclosure of his identity. The scathing article calls Trump "ill-informed," and "reckless," though the author says they're working to thwart this behavior and parts of Trump's agenda. 

For what it's worth, the president and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders have dismissed the article and its author as cowardly. "The media's wild obsession with the identity of the anonymous coward is recklessly tarnishing the reputation of thousands of great Americans who proudly serve our country and work for President Trump," Sanders wrote in a statement on Twitter, adding that anyone curious about the "gutless loser's" identity should call the "failing" Times' opinion desk. 

Meanwhile, people on Twitter are going as far as conducting a linguistic analysis to try and unmask the author. A number of officials have already issued denials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, every single White House Cabinet Secretary, and more. First lady Melania Trump spoke out about the op-ed, though she technically didn't deny writing it. "Freedom of speech is an important pillar of our nation's founding principles and a free press is important to our democracy. The press should be fair, unbiased and responsible," she wrote on Twitter. "Unidentified sources have become the majority of the voices people hear about in today's news. People with no names are writing our nation's history. Words are important, and accusations can lead to severe consequences. If a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have the right to be able to defend themselves. To the writer of the oped — you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions."

Check out these resources for theories:

Trump Holds Rally in Montana

The president covered a range of topics at his rally in Billings, Montana on Thursday, which was intended to promote senate candidate Matt Rosendale. However, Rosendale wasn't among them. Instead, Trump promoted Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, condemned the author of the anonymous NYT op-ed, and targeted Hillary Clinton, Democrats, Maxine Waters, the Affordable Care Act, immigrants, and more. He also predicted what might happen if he were to be impeached: the US would "turn into a third world country." 

"I don't even bring it up because I view it as something, you know, they like to use the impeach word. Maxine Waters, 'We will impeach him.' But he didn't do anything wrong. It doesn't matter, we will impeach him," Trump said. "We will impeach — but I say how do you impeach somebody that's doing a great job? That hasn't done anything wrong?"

Trump added that if he does get impeached, it would be the doing of his supporters. "It is so ridiculous. But we will worry about that, it ever happens, but if it does happen it is your fault because you did not go out and vote," he said. "You did not go out to vote, that is the only way it can happen. I will be the only president in history that will say what a job he has done, by the way, we are impeaching him."

Rosendale eventually took the stage, but as soon as he left, Trump returned.

Alex Jones Banned From Twitter

Less than a month after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey declined to terminate the accounts of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his website InfoWars, the social media platform announced on Thursday that it was doing just that. Facebook, YouTube, and Apple all banned Jones in August, citing guideline violations, hate speech, Jones' glorification of violence, and more. At the time, Twitter said Jones' various accounts had not violated any of its community guidelines.

For Twitter, the final straw seemed to be a recent interaction between Jones and a CNN reporter, Oliver Darcy, on Wednesday. The InfoWars host live-streamed the exchange on Periscope (which Twitter owns), and Jones can be seen accosting Darcy. He later did the same to Dorsey, who was on Capitol Hill to appear before congress regarding election interference and political bias on Twitter. 

"We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts' past violations," Twitter said on the platform. "We wanted to be open about this action given the broad interest in this case."

Jones is known for spreading conspiracy theories and false information, including that the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting was a hoax, 9/11 was an inside job, and more. In addition to being banned from Twitter, Jones and InfoWars will also not be allowed to create new accounts on the platform.

What to look for...

A drink. The weekend is here, and it's National Beer Lover's Day.