Here’s What #idpol Twitter Parodies Tweet

Dec 1, 2017

If you spend time scrolling the #idpol Twitter feed, you may have noticed the proliferation of parody accounts posting snarky – and often critical – jabs aimed at Idaho politicians.

“It’s a great time for parody accounts in Idaho politics,” says Boise State political scientist Jaclyn Kettler.

Americans have spent almost a year following the Twitter habits of President Donald Trump with close coverage from news outlets. Kettler says in Idaho, the social media platform could be providing some levity in serious discussions.

“Of course having the upcoming election with competitive primaries – [with] politicians being pretty active on Twitter I think helps," says the political scientist.

One of the competitive primaries she’s referring to is the GOP gubernatorial race. Each of the Republican candidates vying for the top state position has a parody account that mocks them (in the case of Congressman Raul Labrador, there are at least three separate parody accounts trolling him). Here’s a sampling:

Kettler says the "inside baseball" nature of these kind of accounts can be confusing for people who don't follow every twist and turn of Idaho politics. But, she says that's part of their appeal.

“They know what’s going on, these are informed people ... and that’s why the snark is effective because people are like ‘oh yeah, that’s definitely happening.’ ”

It’s not just politicians who are the targets of these anonymous tweeps. One of the most well-known (and prolific) accounts pokes fun at an entire region in the state – with a signature “all caps” style.

Kettler isn’t sure who’s behind any of the accounts, but she theorizes that the Angry North Idaho feed is run by a journalist.

There’s also “Weatherbytes,” which satirizes longtime Idaho pundit Jim Weatherby. The real Jim Weatherby says he’s learned to see the tweets as flattery, despite sometimes cringing at what they say. Case in point:

So, have we hit peak parody in the Gem State? According to some, yes. But the Twittersphere has by no means reached a consensus on that point.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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