Every Friday I look back at the week that was, at least as seen through my Twitter feed. I’m tweaking the style a bit today, to make it a bit more of a narrative. I hope you enjoy, and as always I appreciate your feedback.
There is no shortage of serious, discouraging, and downright depressing stories in the news. But as last weekend approached, I found my spirits on Friday in a bit of a brighter stage than I expected. What could be the magical elixir that added a “spring” to my step on walks amidst blooming flowers and other happy people out for a stroll? Why, perhaps it is the season…
Somehow spring has done it's usual job of making me a bit more optimistic, despite personal challenges and those of the wider world. I hope it has done something similar for many of you.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 7, 2021
Spring means many things to many people, but for me it is a time for baseball, a passion I now know I have in common with many of you after reading the memories you shared to my reveries on the topic. But as a voracious sports fan I am not yet ready to turn the calendar past the basketball season, especially with my beloved Knicks in the unusual position of being contenders in the playoffs. And it was on the hardcourt this past Saturday that something remarkable took place when the great Russell Westbrook tied a legend for triple doubles in a career.
Triple doubles are amazing feats. And Russell Westbrook’s accomplishment, tying the legendary Oscar Robertson, is one for the ages.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 9, 2021
For those of you who may not be basketball fans, a triple double is when you have double digits in points, rebounds, and assists (passing to another teammate who scores) in a single game. It is the mark of an all-around player, and Westbrook is one of the best who has ever played the game. He would break Robertson’s record later in the week. Kudos.
Russell Westbrook! (Nothing more to say)— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 11, 2021
Now I like to try to spread this kind of good cheer and positivity on Twitter, but some people come to this website just to lob attacks. To be honest, I am treated a lot better than many. Women and people of color face particularly vile vitriol and threats. I guess it’s not surprising that some also find pleasure in turning their attention to me. And I felt I had to respond late Saturday night.
Someone who follows you on Twitter so they can troll you is the definition of someone who really needs to get a life. Peace to all. And to all a good night.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 9, 2021
Was this tweet in response to a particular troll? Well, yes. But I wanted it to be a general statement of principle.
I woke up on Sunday back in a positive and appreciate state of mind. It was Mother’s Day, after all. And I was eager to share a personal message with what I hoped was a broader meaning.
To my mother, whom I will always miss...— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 9, 2021
To my wife, of whom I stand in awe...
To my daughter, who gives great comfort and advice...
To all mothers - your dreams, work, ingenuity, empathy and grace build lives and hold communities together. You deserve much more than a day...
Monday always brings a flood of news, but sometimes when everyone zigs, I like to zag. It’s nice to try to use Twitter (and this Steady newsletter for that matter) to bring attention to topics or articles that otherwise people might not see. So when I saw this strange face staring back at me, I couldn’t help but click and then share.
Striking images reveal a world most of us haven’t thought about before. Some may find it a bit “creepy”, but nature never ceases to surprise and amaze. https://t.co/j4MdcR9m6S— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 10, 2021
These portraits of ants were not the kind of faces I’ve ever seen before. But the next day on Twitter, there was a face that was very familiar - at least to everybody but the New York Post. On Tuesday Leonardo DiCaprio was trending because of a rather unusual take by the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid.
Does that look like the famous movie star? The one on the right? Simple answer is yes. Not sure what the Post was thinking, and I wasn’t alone. With others on Twitter piling on, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to cast a little “shade” on the tabloid, which has had its own proclivities towards being “unrecognizable” to journalistic standards.
The New York Post is unrecognizable in its new role. https://t.co/fGhBgqEBcj— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 11, 2021
Late that day, I was back to seeking to once again share a little of the beauty of the world. And then I came across sea otters holding hands. How can you NOT retweet that? It would be Twitter malpractice.
Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don't drift apart, a behavior known as rafting.— Wonder of Science (@wonderofscience) May 11, 2021
Credit: Vancouver Aquarium pic.twitter.com/W77804I1xj
The CDC has been changing its guidelines on masks as more Americans get vaccinated, but sadly this simple life-saving accoutrement has become politicized and cast as a symbol of state tyranny. Really? A little cloth over your nose and mouth? On Wednesday I felt the need to speak up.
I’m confused. Why should people care if someone wants to wear a mask outside?— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 12, 2021
The science seems to be showing that it’s safe outside if you’re vaccinated to drop the mask, and now inside. But why do people care? People wear a lot of things I find unseemly (like red hats with white hateful slogans), but I don’t berate them.
Sadly, intolerance is in the air, even when it comes to the truth. Wednesday was dominated by the news of Liz Cheney getting “canceled” by the Republican Party for having the temerity to state that the election wasn’t stolen and the insurrectionist assault on the Capitol wasn’t some normal tourist jaunt through Statuary Hall. How will history judge those peddling the Big Lie? All you need to know is that those who pushed out Cheney refused to put their names down on paper.
The fact that it was a voice vote to eject Cheney is all you need to know about the status of courage in the modern Republican Party.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 12, 2021
But for all the small mindedness and selfishness we are seeing on display, there are so many Americans who give selflessly of themselves. We have seen that particularly in this pandemic, which has struck with unequal pain. Communities of color have been hit particularly hard, as have frontline workers who have had to make sure the country kept going. Few do more than nurses, and many have died after getting the very disease they were treating in others. The government let them down by not providing the PPE that was needed, or working to contain the pandemic from exploding. So on Thursday, when I saw this tribute in Washington, I was moved and wanted to share with all of you.
Well that’s a walk through some of the week as I saw it. See you here again next Friday. Have a great weekend.