A dysfunctional White House that has struggled to stay on-message since Inauguration Day is once again shaking up its public-relations strategy — by hiring a new communications director with no experience in such a role.
Shocking, I know.
Why a New York money-man like Anthony Scaramucci would want a job leading a department that President Trump habitually undercuts with 3 a.m. tweetstorms is anybody’s guess. But it’s obvious is why Trump likes him: The Mooch is one of those Fox News heads who eat up airtime by struggling to paint the failures of our diaper-baby-in-chief as the slick maneuverings of a nine-dimensional-chess wizard.
In other words, he’s a yes-man in waiting and will stoop to grotesque lows in order to defend Trump’s behavior for the rest of 2017 and beyond, assuming he hangs on longer than Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who resigned as soon as he heard he was getting a new boss.
Twitter is having a grand old time with this departure, mocking Spicey for pretending to have principles this late in the game and, as always, for his feud with Dippin’ Dots. Meanwhile, they’re digging into The Mooch, who has previously been blocked from top positions in the ongoing executive clusterfuck, by unearthing clips where he trash-talked Trump and tweets that seem at odds with the president’s views.
But these tidbits are scarcely as interesting as something else we’re discovering about Scaramucci. No, it’s not that his name sounds like a lyric from “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It’s not that he’s a lacrosse bro. It’s not even that he called Suicide Squad a “must-see.”
What’s strangest about Scaramucci, on closer inspection of his Twitter account, is that he follows… me. And a bunch of other writers, it seems. Maybe he even follows you!
Indeed, Scaramucci follows a staggering number of people — 168,000 or so — a discovery that prompted comparisons to another man with similarly mystifying social media habits: Taye Diggs. The actor, lately known for roles on Private Practice, Empire and The Good Wife, famously follows more than 600,000 Twitter users, apparently at the behest of Lance Laifer, a middle-aged former hedge fund manager who manages the account for him. Laifer insists there’s a “real process” to this strategy, which is dictated by “an algorithm that’s in [his] head,” though it’s unclear how it works. (Diggs used to follow me but no longer does. Crying emoji.)
The point is, lots of media folk (and at least one respected literary journal) woke up this morning to find that, for the first time ever, someone from the Trump team was theoretically keeping tabs on their 140-character musings.
Trump’s own Twitter technique couldn’t be more different from Scaramucci’s — aside from buying millions of fake fans to soothe a diseased ego, he follows just 45 accounts, mostly family members and Trump properties, and has probably never read a single reply to the bullshit he spouts on there. The Mooch’s open-armed approach could mean he’s a spammy thirstboi who just wants people to follow him back. It could mean he’s interested in staying up-to-date with the news cycle, particularly the speculative chatter from reporters that surrounds any major story. Most importantly, it means that I can slide into his DMs.
So I did.
I knew I’d have to wait a while before The Mooch replied, but I found myself quickly growing impatient with his silence. Why would he be following me at all if he didn’t value my voice and opinion? A refusal to engage on his part only deepened the enigma of his evident fanhood. Perhaps he had been privately amused when I told Vice President Mike Pence that he looks like he fucked a ghost, or when I advised House Speaker Paul Ryan to drink a tall glass of dick chum, but was just too embarrassed to admit it now. So I tried to break the ice with some pop-culture small talk geared toward his general vibe.
Now I was getting upset. Not only had The Mooch misrepresented his interest in me, he wasn’t performing his basic duties as a communications director. Ultimately, he left me with no choice but to go nu(de)clear. This is what DMs are for.
Once again, no answer.
Only now, that reticence spoke volumes. Anthony Scaramucci is on Twitter for the same reason as the rest of us: The promise of random butt shots.
I understand that the White House Director of Communications isn’t in a place to demand photographic sexts from ordinary American citizens, so I hope he appreciates my taking the initiative here.
Since he hasn’t blocked me yet, I have to assume he does.