Sometimes (frequently) the world of politics is unintentionally hilarious, usually for a cringe inducing story that is also a little humorous. But today on Twitter, users created his own personal hashtag to adequately describe the hilarity of the revelation that Ted Cruz was once arrested: #TedCruzCrimes. Spawned by a Buzzfeed “expose” that shows the senator from Texas was once arrested for possession of alcohol as a minor. Most of the tweets are stupid and that is the point: to mock this non-story in a way that its stupidity deserves.
Buzzfeed apparently tasked three reporters with filing a Freedom of Information Act request to see Cruz’s application to be solicitor general of Texas. The application, filed in 2003, reveals many bits of information about his past record, including salaries and professional associations. But the headline Buzzfeed chose to run with was “Ted Cruz Was Once Ticketed for Possession of Alcohol As a Minor.” As if this was a scandal and he had been trying to cover it up. In fact, Cruz gave a statement to Buzzfeed in which he admitted to the charge and added, “Teenagers often make foolish mistakes, and that certainly applied to me as well.”
Talking Points Memo picked the story up with a brief explanation of the story and that is about the only exposure this story has so far (the story on Buzzfeed was only posted at 3pm today, which leaves plenty of time to blow it up into a scandal headline). In fact, the most recent news about the Texas politician is his statement about NASA. As the new chairman for the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Space and Competitiveness, he released a statement about how NASA has lost its way by partnering with Russia in various interstellar efforts, including the International Space Station (ISS). According to him, letting Russia be the “gatekeeper” of the ISS “could threaten our capability to explore and learn, stunting our capacity to reach new heights and share innovations with free people everywhere.” This comes at about the same time that American astronauts took refuge in the Russian side of the ISS after a false alarm was triggered on the American side. That might actually be worth a headline, especially since Cruz is reportedly a serious contender for the 2016 presidential race.
All of this might just be one of those throwaway examples of how the media is ridiculous when it comes to digging up dirt on politicians, except for Twitter’s involvement. Using the hashtag #TedCruzCrimes, users are giving this story the respect it deserves. Here is a sampling of some of the better examples of a real crime Ted Cruz could have committed:
As the #TedCruzCrimes hashtag so wonderfully illustrates, Ted Cruz drinking underage is hardly newsworthy, despite being such fodder for his own personal hashtag. It is a bit like saying that kids do not clean their rooms and are probably experimenting with sex. Such things are commonplace. Yes, this was a mistake, but not one that should be used to smear a politician right before he probably runs for president. Like Obama smoking weed in college. If the people at Buzzfeed were actually doing their job, they might use their Freedom of Information Act appeals for more useful things, like figuring out what else Cruz has planned for NASA.
Opinion By Lydia Bradbury