There Are New Influencers on the Block (Satire)


Disclaimer: The following article is a work of satire. All events and conversations are purely fictional and intended for entertainment purposes only.

WASHINGTON — Last week, Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced the White House’s surprising bipartisan initiative to use social media to increase civic engagement, make policy more accessible, and humanize politicians. The bold effort comes at a time when political polarization in America is at a high and social media is playing an increasingly large role in political discourse. 

“This is a team effort,” Jean-Pierre declared from the White House briefing room. “The Biden-Harris Administration believes in the power of social media to connect our country’s leadership with their constituents. From now on, senators, representatives, governors, and more will engage with social media on a deeper level to remind the American public that their government is composed of public servants, not opportunists.” 

The initiative has already spurred some creative, albeit surprising, media performances. Sen. Krysten Sinema, I-Ariz., who made waves when she left the Democratic Party and declared herself an Independent, has quickly built an alarmingly cult-like following through her tarot card readings, which she posts on Instagram Live. Curiously, the majority of her readings, which Sinema claims are apolitical, call for Americans to “harness their individuality” and “break away” from “toxic groups.” 

The House of Representatives’s young, progressive cohort, termed “The Squad,” has already made waves with their joint YouTube channel. The Squad published their inaugural video last Thursday, and have already amassed 1.2 million subscribers. Republicans have questioned the validity of this figure, though, with some going as far as to call for an independent review by the House Ethics committee. “This is a stolen YouTube channel, clear as day,” admonished Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. “The integrity of future YouTube channels is at stake because of these fraudulent subscriber votes — I mean counts.” When pressed on the factual basis of these claims, Taylor Greene declined to comment. The Congresswoman was later spotted by an HPR correspondent browsing, a website that makes available Instagram followers for purchase. 

Sources speaking on the condition of anonymity revealed that Republican involvement in the initiative was contingent on the development of Boomer-targeted social media sites, a definite nod toward their voter base. “Mitch McConnell just kept screaming ‘geriatrics deserve beauty filters too!’ on the Senate floor,” a Senate page, who shall remain unnamed, told the HPR. “It was so unsettling to see him flail about like that, but Senator Sanders, D-Vt., did manage to catch him on BeReal,” they added with chuckle. 

The effort has not been without controversy, however, with recent court documents confirming that there are already legal battles underway. In New Jersey, an intellectual property suit has been filed against Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., whose TikTok account appears to be an impersonation of rising social media star Alix Earle. The page, despite bearing Earle’s name and a profile photo with her likeness, features Santos filming “Get Ready With Me” and “Day in My Life” videos. Curiously, none of the “Day in My Life” postings depict the representative at his workplace. An HPR correspondent was able to make contact with Santos, who, when pressed for a comment, claimed to have, “Over 10 years of experience as a TikTok influencer.” TikTok was created in 2016, just 7 years ago. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is also in hot water, having recently posted a video of himself performing an interpretive dance to the Star Spangled Banner, causing a Texas teen who viewed the video to sue for emotional distress. 

The Biden-Harris administration acknowledged the rockiness of the initiative’s start, but promised that “though our politicians may not be able to govern, they sure can post.”

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