The Washington Post Style section is known for gushy profiles of liberal actors or Democratic politicians, so it was no surprise when Friday’s paper fawned over “political star” and Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu (Calif.) eliciting cheers “as if he’s some TV hearthrob” trashing President Trump.
Reporter Karen Heller wrote, as our friend Chris Plante often states, on behalf of the Democrat Party and made clear how enthralled she was with him based on this gooey opening featuring the lewd comedian Kathy Griffin:
In the packed auditorium at the Creative Artists Agency, a vortex of entertainment industry power and current progressive political woe, comedian Kathy Griffin — tiny, insistently red-tressed — erupts in full-throttle rasp at the man in the boxy gray suit as he finishes up onstage.
“I saw you on the Joy Reid show on MSNBC,” Griffin says, coming up from the audience to address Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat speaking at the CAA Foundation’s Take Action Day. “You’re giving us hope!”
Heller continued to describe this scene as if she were ABC’s Terry Moran at an Obama rally:
A trio of sleek female agents surrounds Lieu, as if he’s some TV heartthrob like actor Joshua Jackson, who is on the same environmental panel yet attracting far less attention.
“You’re a rock star,” they gasp. “We love your tweets.”
With Lieu, it’s all about the tweets. Since the inauguration of Donald Trump, Lieu has become a tweeting demon, famous as the man, as the Los Angeles Times put it, “trolling the Tweeter in Chief.”
Fretting about how Lieu was distraught after the election, Heller hyped that Lieu was this way until “he reached for his phone.” She then touted a slew of bombastic Lieu tweets that delved into name-calling (which, you know, is frowned upon whenever Trump does so).
“Since the beginning of the year, followers of his personal @tedlieu account have exploded, going from fewer than 10,000 to more than 122,000...In conversation, Lieu is far more cautious and earnest than he is in his Twitter ripostes, and polite to a fault. Born in Taiwan, he projects a conservatism in manner and dress that seems at odds with many of his constituents,” Heller added.
Following an interlude to provide more on his background and extremely wealthy congressional district (second wealthiest in the country), Heller swooned over Lieu’s “mojo” on display in tweet where he cursed at White House press secretary Sean Spicer for “mak[ing] shit up.”
She continued with positive quotes from his wife Betty and fellow Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass (Calif.) and entertained Betty’s jokes about his tidiness:
Little in Lieu’s bio suggests that he would become the House Dem to troll Trump.
Not kind of, his wife says. “Sometimes his humor can be quite dorky, given the nerd that he is,” she says.
He recently purchased a condo. “Ted is a very smart man,” says Betty. “But he is not good around the home. He can’t make his own bed, do his own laundry. He can’t cook. I actually worry about his having his own place.”
But Lieu can tweet.
Lieu’s caustic social media presence has won him increased popularity among his constituents....During the February recess, Lieu’s days were swamped with meetings. He’s recognized everywhere, thanked constantly.
Give me a break. This 1,500-word testimony finally came in for a landing by giving his campaign website and Washington office sterling reviews:
Lieu’s official website includes a “Cloud of Illegitimacy Clock,” tracking how long he believes Trump has been in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which prohibits government officials from accepting payments from foreign governments. The website also offers a guide for government employees who wish to share crucial information and “break the administration’s communications blackout on federal agencies.”
Office news releases sometimes place an asterisk next to Trump’s name, questioning his legitimacy, noting his loss of the popular vote and “Vladimir Putin ordering a multifaceted and brazen Russian influence and cyber hacking campaign with the goals of undermining faith in the U.S. democratic process.”
Posted beside the door to Lieu’s office in the Cannon House Office Building is a paper sign that reads “This office is an #AlternativeFacts Free Zone. Period.” He has no plans to take it down anytime soon.