This Photo of Hillary Clinton Reading About Mike Pence’s Emails Went Viral
Is “schadenfreude” trending? If it isn’t already, it probably will be soon.
That’s because a photo of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reading about the hack on Vice President Mike Pence’s emails when he was Governor of Indiana has the Internet in a tizzy this weekend.
As the unconfirmed but now-viral story goes, a passenger on the same short-haul flight as Clinton and her trusted advisor Huma Abedin from Boston’s Logan Airport to New York’s LaGuardia on Friday snapped an almost unbelievable smartphone photo. (Pictures, or it didn’t happen, right?) In the split-second moment, the passenger captured a relatively stable, non-fuzzy photo of Clinton reading that day’s issue of USA Today, with the headline above the fold: “Pence used personal email in office.”
The Indianapolis Star last week reported that Pence used a private AOL email account to conduct public business and homeland security matters as Indiana’s governor, and that his personal email account was hacked last summer.
Given how the debate over Clinton’s email practices and private servers were at the core of the bitter rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election, the Pence situation has critics questioning if there is a double standard in the public response—as well as that by Pence and Republican leaders—so far. Pence’s office has since responded that there was “no comparison whatsoever” between his use of a private email account for state business and Clinton’s while she was Secretary of State.
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At the very least, it has many Internet users batting around the word “schadenfreude,” a German term referring to pleasure derived by someone from another person’s bad luck or misfortune. Thus, this single photo—much like another photo of Clinton reading while traveling—has also spawned numerous memes, many of which can be found on Twitter (TWTR) under the hashtag “#ButHerEmails.”
And in an even further meta moment, USA Today followed up with a report on the photo, too.