I witnessed something fascinating last Wednesday. Rachel Maddow, one of the most well-known liberal prime-time television hosts in the United States, tweeted “BREAKING: We’ve got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously).” Her colleague, Lawrence O’Donnell, tweeted “This is the night we’ve been waiting for.”
Twitter was at once abuzz with rapid-fire hot takes and speculation. The churning meme machine rapidly pumped out gif after gif, looping pop culture references; funny-looking B-rated celebs eating popcorn, cats staring patiently at screens, wide-eyed.
Did Maddow have Trump’s tax returns? Was the silver bullet finally here, the inevitable arrival of something that would kill Trump once and for all? The studio lights were beaming, MSNBC’s countdown clock was ticking away in the screen’s corner and here in New Zealand our top journos were seeking out illegal streams of the channel.
But the climax never came.