News & Politics

What Can We Learn About Our Lives From Washingtonian’s Top Tweets of 2019?

Probably nothing. And also some stuff about Mark Cuban.


People love to ring in January. But by its like 54th day or whatever, January is about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit*. The federal government was shut down for most of the month, and Washingtonians retaliated by growing patchy beards and doing rage-needlepoint. Most government employees aren’t allowed anywhere near their work email during a shutdown, so it’s not that surprising that our top tweet of January was this one, bedecked with cutting-edge graphics, on the 29th, four days after President Trump ended the stupid thing with a deal he could have struck on Day 1.


February 2019: The Ralph Northam blackface controversy. Michael Cohen drink specials. Hallway pizza guy. It makes sense that you all decided you’d rather have dinner with Pusha T.


The iron law of watching Queer Eye is that everyone goes through the same cycle of favorite cast members: First JVN, then Antoni, then Karamo, and finally (and correctly) Bobby. (Tan never makes the cut for some reason.) Why doesn’t Karamo Brown have more sticking power? Probably the same reason he deleted his Twitter account after he said something nice about Sean Spicer. Don’t run from confrontation, Karamo. Embrace it.


Here are some things that happened in April: #DontMuteDC. Kirstjen Nielsen resigned. The Mueller report finally came out. Okay, let’s look at some Photoshops that place Metro trains anywhere but here.


[Pushes up sleeves like a ’90s standup comic] Scooters…what’s the deal with scooters?


Washington spent most of June thinking about that dragon that gave birth and worrying about how bonkers Trump’s July 4 would be. Your favorite tweet of ours showed a fake gold toilet. So, it’s gonna be that kind of a summer, eh?


This July, nonalcoholic cocktails crossed the $14 mark, finally becoming so ludicrously expensive that people around here were required by local code to take them seriously. The US won the Women’s World Cup Final. The Metro shutdown south of National Airport dragged on. And on July 28, when the high temperature was 92, and we didn’t yet know that the swelter wouldn’t let up until deep into August, the dedication of these folks was impressive.


Toni Morrison died on August 5, and the nation paid appropriate tribute to one of its best-known novelists. The death of a literary giant didn’t manage to knock the feral hog tweet out of the news, however, setting up another languid late summer month here in the swamp. Old Bay stalked a New Yorker and we were like “close enough,” we met the guy who AirDrops pictures of his dog on Metro, and rentable electric “mopeds” were suddenly as easy to spot as pit stains.


The great thing about esports is they make most millennials feel like they’re really old and will probably die soon, allowing those of us born before 1980 to stop focusing on our own impending demises and revel in the discomfort of younger people. What do any of the words in this tweet even mean? Who cares when your coworkers are weeping at their desks?


Earlier this year, billionaires got worried that no one liked them anymore. Several coping strategies emerged: Michael Bloomberg and Howard Schultz ran for President. Elon Musk unveiled a truck that looks like a $40,000 prison weapon. Jeff Bezos added a thousand light fixtures and six dishwashers to a house he doesn’t live in. My dudes, you are doing it wrong. Media outlets will never turn on Mark Cuban because he’s got 7 million-plus Twitter followers, and he’s extremely generous with the retweet button when you tag him. Follow his example, and then you can sit back and enjoy the Buttigieg era.


Under normal circumstances, a story linked in a tweet that earned more than 74,000 impressions would be a lock for the biggest story of the month. But the internet is governed by a kind of Hammurabi’s code written in 1995, so anything you publish that tickles Matt Drudge‘s fancy will be one of your most popular articles of the year. This one did well, don’t get me wrong. But it’s no “Sleep Divorce Is a Thing—and It’s on the Rise.”


Yes, we successfully deployed the Mark Cuban trick again in the current most popular tweet, but this month is not yet over, so we can still change history. What if the readers of Washingtonian got together and catapulted our least popular tweet of the month so far—a reply to a user named Sass Frass about a broken link—and retweeted/liked/viewed/whatever it is that makes Twitter count a bunch of impressions until it knocked this tweet of its high horse? Power to the people in 2020!

All data comes from Twitter’s count of “impressions.”

*Joke stolen from Billy Connolly 

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.