Oh, Internet. You are as predictable as you are, well, unpredictable. It’s hard to tell what will spark your ire, but easy to see how the ensuing battle will unfold. (Mostly.) And, really, there’s a comfort in that unknowingness. And that’s why this week’s collection of Internet curiosities—the secrets of purses, the political activism of variety show producers, the state of Sean Hannity’s feelings—feels so right. Ladies, gentlemen, and everyone else tuning in: these, once again, are the highlights of what you might have missed during last week’s world wide webbery.

Fox News Is No Longer a Safe Space

What Happened: Sean Hannity, Donald Trump’s favorite news personality, manages to turn “Well, that escalated quickly” into an understatement following a comment from a fellow Fox News host.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: As if to prove that 2016 was the year of utterly unexpected political developments (see also: The Atlantic endorsing Hillary Clinton, in only the third official endorsement of the magazine’s 159-year history), civil war seemingly erupted at Fox News this week, with Megyn Kelly making the following comment during her Wednesday night broadcast: “Donald Trump, with all due respect to my friend at 10 o’clock, will go on Hannity and pretty much only Hannity and will not venture out to the unsafe spaces these days, which doesn’t exactly expand the tent.”

Sean Hannity, in case it wasn’t clear, is Kelly’s “friend at 10 o’clock,” that being his timeslot on the network. If he’d heard Kelly’s comments as they aired, he didn’t seem to respond—but that wasn’t the case once her words made it online, provoking this tweet in reply:

Wait. Just that one line about Trump preferring safe spaces got Hannity to accuse Kelly of being a Clinton supporter? It was an overreaction immediately jumped upon by media Twitter—

—as well as the media in general, eager for signs of Fox’s collapse. Perhaps the strangest part of the whole affair comes from the CNN report on the exchange, which noted, “When asked by CNNMoney to elaborate on his tweet, Hannity replied with a blank email.” Is that a mistake, or meta-commentary on the value of the whole affair?
The Takeaway: If only there was a gif to sum up the way the Internet responded to the inter-network tiff. Oh, wait.

The Lovers, the Dreamers and Me

What Happened: With just under a month left in the US presidential election cycle, it was probably time that we brought in the Muppets, let’s be real.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Remember when Big Bird ended up playing a part in the 2012 US presidential election? It turns out that one of his fellow Sesame Street characters might have ended up getting drawn into this year’s political debacle, in large part because of the role already played by a certain cartoon frog. The co-opting of Pepe led Talking Point Memo’s Josh Marshall to muse aloud about another frog that might be able to redress the political balance:

Let’s just say that Twitter warmed to the idea:

Before too long, pieces about Kermit’s new role were appearing online, and the #ImWithKer hashtag—in case you missed it, a play on the Clinton campaign slogan—had its own Know Your Meme entry. As yet, the official Kermit Twitter account has yet to make any statement about the issue, but given how strange this year has been so far, it’s probably only a matter of time.
The Takeaway: Of course, it’s not as if the people behind Sesame Street shouldn’t have been prepared for this… or that they didn’t lay the groundwork themselves, decades earlier.

Can You Feel the Wave?

What Happened: The 1980s will never die as long as there are meme generators and social media, it seems.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: As if Stranger Things wasn’t enough 1980s retro for the last few months, this week saw the Retro Wave take over Twitter almost instantaneously.

The allure was obvious: Suddenly, any sentence you imagine could be transformed into a neon-and-chrome masterpiece straight out of nerd dreams of 1984. And, as you might expect, that allure was taken to new and exciting heights by the Twitterati:

But as swiftly as the meme had taken Twitter by storm, it ended; within a day, it was played out, and viewed harshly even by the latecomers who’d turned to the form themselves:

Could this be a new record for a meme peaking and then retreating back into the mists of the Internet?
The Takeaway: Introducing the most truthful Retro Wave image ever:

Send In the… Actually, Maybe Not

What Happened: Is America facing a clown invasion? Before you answer, perhaps you should consider the evidence.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: In what might be one of the more unlikely sentences ever written on this website, there is apparently a “clown attack craze” happening in America right now. Following “sightings” in South Carolina a couple months back, a nationwide hysteria has descended, prompting clown hunts, creepy warning letters to schools and even questions at a White House briefing.

Certainly, it’s a subject that’s been all over social media for some time—particularly in a flavor called “WHAT THE HELL WE HATE CLOWNS”:

While even CNN is trying to come to grips with the problem, an expert on the matter has stepped up to calm the country, with Stephen King weighing in to reassure people that clowns aren’t that bad. He even took to Twitter to spread the word:

In a surprising denouement, it turns out that perhaps clown outbreaks are cyclical, which is a terrifying prospect when you think about it. But even that news doesn’t answer the real question behind the whole thing.

The Takeaway: Then again, maybe we’re all overreacting?

What Are They Saying?

What Happened: What someone carries in their purse is a secret known only to the purse’s owner, but that’s not good enough for one particular British police department.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter
What Really Happened: As many are fond of pointing out, Twitter isn’t the venue for nuanced discussion, considering the character limit available per post. Of course, it isn’t always the inability to post more than 140 characters that’s the problem, as this midweek tweet from the Greater Manchester Police in the UK demonstrated:

Besides seeming absurdly paranoid, the tweet was also astoundingly vague. Who is the “she”? Why does she have to be hiding anything? And is the tweet meant to be implying that everyone who has a large purse is hiding something? As might be expected, Twitter wasn’t exactly a fan of what it saw:

The response was more than just outrage, however; some people took it upon themselves to try and answer the question, in the process revealing the magical properties of the purse:

The Takeaway: Of course, sometimes the best answer is another question… such as this one, which is really just saying what many were thinking, really.

Original article: 

While You Were Offline: Fox News Is No Longer a Safe Space, Folks