The 'Sophisticated' U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Just Gleefully Harassed a College Student Off the Internet

Illustration for article titled The Sophisticated U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Just Gleefully Harassed a College Student Off the Internet
Screenshot: Twitter (Other)
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Negotiating an entire country’s interests while situated abroad seems fraught with potential for cultural misunderstanding in even the best of circumstances. But a U.S. ambassadorship to Mexico, a country the American president dislikes so much he ran on a platform of walling it off, seems like it would require an especially keen instinct for how to respond to criticism. But as per usual with the Trump administration, its ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau, doesn’t have a keen sense for much, except how to effectively undermine his title by getting into a prolonged social media argument with a college student.

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According to Landau’s Twitter account, he’s a big fan of the Mexican landscape, food, and giant drug busts. In a tweet of her own, Mexican college student Mariana Braojos pointed out that there is a bit more to the country and its people than Landau’s social media would suggest: “The social media networks of the ambassador say a lot about his perception of the people he seeks to please,” she wrote, tagging Landau. “He perceives us as rudimentary. He believes that we praise any white foreigner that eats our food and doesn’t look down on ordinary people. The worst is that he isn’t in error.”

From there, predicably, Landau went ballistic, responding “Apologies if I’m not sufficiently sophisticated for you, with your degree in international relations. Obviously, your great education and knowledge of the world would allow you to do diplomatic work much better than the ‘rudimentary’ communications of this ‘white foreigner.’”

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While Braojos deleted her account following the exchange and a flood of hateful messages from Landau’s hateful followers, instead of reeling it in after harassing a student off the internet, the grown man, shortlisted by the president for a seat on the Supreme Court, shared screenshots of the tweet, along with the student’s name and deleted profile picture, to his 260,000 followers, who continued to post predictably hateful responses.

The vindictive, immature, petty move most likely locked his nomination for the Supreme Court, should Donald Trump win a second term. [Vice]


After being denied access to five different outdoor locations for a Nevada rally, Donald Trump has decided to just cram his supporters into a manufacturing plant, despite state restrictions against indoor gatherings of over 50 people. But according to Trump, participants shouldn’t worry about potential danger. He’ll be fine:

“I’m on a stage, and it’s very far away,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal without addressing whether or not closely packed quarters might be deadly for those in the crowd. “I’m not at all concerned.”

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The move is a departure from last month, when the president said the rallies were canceled due to the very concerns that no longer concern him: “I’d love to do the rallies. We can’t because of the covid,” he told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “You know, you can’t have people sitting next to each other.”

The New York Times speculates that the change in strategy is a desperate move by a campaign trailing in the polls that has had to pull many of its ads due to the fact that their billion-dollar cash advantage seems to have disappeared. I’m no political strategist but killing one’s constituents hardly seems the move when down in the polls. [The New York Times]

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  • For the first time in its 174-year run, Scientific American is backing a political candidate in Joe Biden, but then if Americans had given a shit about science in the first place, they wouldn’t have had to. [Politico]
  • “$600 or bust” has become “We’ll come back if it seems like negotiations are going somewhere,” which is less catchy and also very bad for a country that cannot afford its rent. [Politico]
  • Chad Wolf, a man who has built a career on saying human beings are breaking the law simply by existing might himself be an illegal worker. [CNN]
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s wife, Susan Pompeo, seems to have confused her husband’s employees with Santa’s elves. [CNN]
  • A $12 million settlement has been reached in Breonna Taylor’s murder, but only one of the police officers involved has been fired and no one has been charged with shooting her to death in her own home. [WDRB]
  • A South Dakota attorney general who reported hitting a deer but actually hit and killed a person is rightfully being investigated for this whole story sounding awful from start to finish. [Rapid City Journal]
  • It sure seems like meatpacking bosses wrote the executive order signed by President Donald Trump to keep the plants open despite covid-19 outbreaks killing workers. [Propublica]
  • “AITA For Wanting to Vote For Donald Trump?” I know the title sounds bad, but hear me out: it’s for very dumb reasons. [Washington Post]

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DISCUSSION

hippomania
Hippomania

This is a little bit off-topic, but I thought there would be a thread about the Woodward book here. Maybe there is and I missed it.

I sometimes complain about my sister who seems indifferent to politics, and has commented, ‘Who cares what Trump does or says?’ I cannot believe she even thinks this way.

She is somewhat out of the loop, so I try to provide her tidbits without being obnoxious about it, since I unfortunately am obsessed.

Well, unbeknownst to me, she took it upon herself to watch “Sixty Minutes” this past Sunday evening, wherein they had about a 30-minute interview with Bob Woodward where they played some clips from his tapes, and interviewed him about the book.

My sister said she didn’t like Woodward, and that he was “shifty.” Not shitty, shifty.

So I went and watched the “Sixty Minutes” program myself. I thought that Woodward was straightforward and credible. He did speak haltingly, perhaps choosing his words carefully, but I thought he was fair, and did not go out of his way to be unkind to the president.

I think where my sister was going is: “Woodward is shifty, therefore you can’t believe anything in the book.” I believe that my sister is maybe not a closet Trump-lover, but perhaps a closet Trump-sympathizer.

I find her attitude inexplicable, given the information that was revealed.