In the press

'Did TikTokers and K-pop fans foil Trump's Tulsa rally?'


IN THE PAPERS – Monday, June 22: In our first in-studio press review since France's lockdown measures began in March, we explore claims that TikTok users and K-pop fans sabotaged Donald Trump's Tulsa rally, as well as the Egyptian president's threat to intervene in Libya and a petition to change the name of Columbus, Ohio to "Flavortown".


We begin with claims that TikTok users and K-Pop fans are responsible for the low turnout at Donald Trump's rally over the weekend. That's what they have proudly been declaring to the media and people are loving the idea that a bunch of teens pranked the US president. But are they really responsible for the disappointing rally turnout? The Washington Post looks into this and they say it’s complicated. By RSVPing the teenagers certainly could have raised expectations – the Trump campaign had been talking about over 1 million people interested. But reality is that there were not a limited number of tickets – it was a first come first serve basis. If people didn't show up, it's because they didn’t show up.

And in a way that's humiliation enough, as we see in this cartoon from The Independent's Brian Adcock. Donald Trump is telling this empty arena: "You're warriors". One supporter, who is holding a paper reporting Trump’s falling poll numbers, says "we should really be worriers".

We move on to Libya where the UN-backed government also has cause for worry with the Egyptian president threatening a military intervention. The forces of the UN-backed government in Tripoli have been making big advances towards the east against the forces of General Haftar. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who supports Haftar, says Egypt will intervene if the Tripoli forces make it as far as Sirte. The Tripoli-based government is supported by Turkey, but according to Egyptian paper Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt has the support of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the United States. The paper writes that Egypt has the right to defend its borders and safeguard its national security.

Meanwhile, Lebanese paper L'Orient le Jour is expressing its alarm. The headline reads "the spectre of an Egyptian intervention is taking shape". The paper writes that Sirte is now the flashpoint for the rivalry between Egypt and Turkey. A rivalry centred around accessing offshore oil deposits in the Mediterranean.

Finally, as cities around the world reckon with their racist and colonialist histories, people in the US city Columbus, Ohio - named after explorer Christopher Columbus – are petitioning for it to be renamed "Flavortown". This petition has been gaining traction – it already has more than 24,000 signatures. If you're wondering about the choice of Flavortown, it honours the city's legacy as a culinary crossroads. It's also in honour of celebrity chef Guy Fieri, who hails from Columbus, Ohio. He's raised over $20 million for food service workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. They argue that he’s just an all-round "good dude". We've been seeing a lot of local initiatives like this one – in Tennessee, there are calls to replace Confederate monuments with statues of the singer Dolly Parton.

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