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It wasn’t what they thought would happen.
Over the last few years, Brian and Ed Krassenstein have become social media famous for obsessively tweeting at the president. The self-styled journalist twin brothers spend their days, nights and, one imagines, bathroom breaks, monitoring Trump’s Twitter feed for chum to tweet to their combined 1.5 million followers on the platform.
As their profiles have grown, so have the criticisms, with many people accusing them of co-opting the liberal resistance movement for profit. They also published a children’s book where Robert Mueller was depicted as a shirtless, tie-wearing beefcake (no, we don’t know why either); have passed off real journalists’ scoops as their own on Twitter; and only a few short years ago federal law enforcement investigated the Fort Myers, Florida-based duo for being involved in illegal online Ponzi schemes. The brothers, who were not charged, maintain their innocence.
Their latest attempt at shameless self-promotion, a Reddit thread in which users are invited to “ask me anything,” seemingly intended to entice people into donating money to their podcast, went off the rails pretty much immediately.
It began innocently enough with this announcement: We’re the Krassenstein Brothers — We Uncovered A scheme to Frame Robert Mueller for Rape & We Tweet to Trump – Ask Me Anything!
(By far the weirdest story about them, and arguably the most legitimizing line on their journalism CVs, is that they helped expose a conspiracy to falsely accuse Mueller of sexual assault, apparently by making a phone call and tweeting, but still.)
But since almost no one online likes them, Reddit let ‘em have it.
Early on, neither seems to have realized that they were stacking the pyre for an epic roast.
The pair finally seemed to get a clue when their responses kept getting down-voted and hilariously trolly questions and comments up-voted.
(Side note to Krassensteins: “pseudo-journalistic cringey bullshit” is an accurate Twitter bio.)
Some users were kinda confused as to why the apparently well-fed, tanned, and toned twins weren’t ponying up their own cash.
Lots of redditors lamented the loss of a former admin who curated and did quality control over AMAs so they didn’t go sideways or feature unscrupulous opportunists with swollen egos.
But most others were just glad to have witnessed the utter owning of the Krassensteins.
Maybe there’s hope for the future after all.
This article has been updated.
Claire Goforth is a Jacksonville, Florida-based journalist covering politics, culture, justice, and unicorns. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alt-weeklies to Al Jazeera.