Jason Bourne is trending for a very strange reason.
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Jason Bourne is trending on Twitter, and Texas senator Ted Cruz is directly responsible for the fictional character’s leap to the front lines of political discourse. The Republican senator, who recently made headlines after he vacationed to Cancun amidst a statewide energy crisis, tweeted about an ad promoting diversity within the CIA, saying, “We’ve come a long way from Jason Bourne.” Predictably, Twitter had some pretty strong feelings about Cruz’s response.
Here is Ted Cruz’s Jason Bourne tweet:
The internet was immediately enraged. People on Twitter were incredibly quick to point out that not only is Jason Bourne a fictional character, but also that it’s alarming that Cruz himself is seemingly incapable of separating fact from fiction. Some of the responses were funny, others sad, still others angry. But they all seemed to come to the same – or at least a similar – conclusion: that Ted Cruz is missing key bits of information that may have kept him from publishing the tweet had he been aware of them.
Here are some other Jason Bourne-related tweets, should you need additional context:
And some others:
For those who have passed or slept on the Jason Bourne films for whatever reason, here’s a primer on what that’s about: Starring Matt Damon (and Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy), the Jason Bourne series sees the titular character trying to clear himself of psychogenic amnesia and find out who he actually is. The problem is, an agency-wide conspiracy within the CIA is intent on making sure that does not happen. It’s a compelling story, but it is very much a work of fiction and doesn’t work as a basis for any reality-grounded argument. But Cruz went for it, and now the internet is eating him alive.
Another common sentiment among the Twitter users was that Ted Cruz referenced Jason Bourne with no apparent awareness that the character does not exist and that such statements are likely to get people riled up. As the embedded tweets above so clearly show, Twitter is definitely riled up, with the reactions to his post ranging from outrage to confusion to utter disbelief. Also, more than a few Twitter users pointed out that Cruz seemed to be missing the point of the films, which centered around a man trying to expose corruption within a respected government agency.
Ted Cruz’s Jason Bourne tweet may seem so wild and tone-deaf that it had to have been done with incendiary intent, but it is not the craziest or most controversial surprise 2021 has given us. Remember Gina Carano’s firing from the Star Wars universe back in early February? Or Armie Hammer’s alleged cannibalism? Those were two fairly recent controversies that started on social media and quickly grew into viral discussion topics.
Ted Cruz may have missed the theme (and fictional nature) of the Jason Bourne films, but the folks on Twitter seem to be enjoying their newest opportunity to tear into him. Hopefully, this does not spiral out of control any more than it already has.