R.E.M. broke up almost a decade ago, but in a way they’re still rockin’. It’s not every band that can silence the president of the United States of America, especially if that president is Donald J. Trump. But silence President Trump is just what they did — again.
Friday our commander-in-chief was being his usual presidential self: going online to mock his opponents just after declaring a national emergency over an exaggerated border threat that he can’t fix himself because he failed at the art of the deal.
This time the American president didn’t use wordplay or jokey alliteration to belittle their names. Instead he posted a video that juxtaposes “greatest hits” from his recent State of the Union address — the one that had to be postponed because he had partially shut down the government over the aforementioned trumped-up border issue — with images of Democratic leaders looking sad. In the background was the R.E.M. mope classic “Everybody Hurts.”
You can’t see that video, because it no longer exists. That’s because the former members of R.E.M. — none of whom, perhaps unsurprisingly, are particular fans of Mr. Trump — briefly reunited to file a copyright infringement notice, as per CNBC. Twitter then quickly responded to the request.
Before they did that, though, they did some trolling of their own.
“World Leader PRETEND!!! Congress, Media–ghost this faker!!! Love, R.E.M.,” wrote the official R.E.M. Twitter account, dropping in a reference to a deep-ish cut off of their 1988 album Green.