It’s dangerous work bringing the news to a television audience. TV journalists must keep an eye out for falling barometers, carnivorous desks, and rampaging automated hardware. And even when you’re not at risk of exploding, there’s always the chance that you’ll identify a beloved pop-culture creature as the wrong species.
Such is the tragedy of the social-media team for ABC’s Good Morning America, whose innocent attempt at polling Twitter on its favorite internet memes has been met with a flurry of responses from online smart alecks who appreciate the Muppets on a much deeper level than you. In other words: The morning show’s attempt to cover meme culture wound up creating the type of in-jokey echo chamber that drives meme culture. And all it took was attaching the hashtag #tealizard to the smug, Lipton-sipping buttinsky Kermit The Frog plays on the web.
It’s the exact sort of Starbucks-cup typo that internet jokes are made of, but it’s not entirely inaccurate: Kermit began life as a malleable, lizard-like member of the Sam And Friends ensemble in 1955. He wouldn’t explicitly be referred to as “Kermit The Frog” until the Muppets’ 1971 take on The Frog Prince, by which time the character had gained his distinctive flippers and lime-green collar. Looked at from that angle, Kermit is a #tealizard by technicality. Looked at from another: It’s just further abuse heaped upon Tea Lizard, Violence Pig, Inadequacy Bear, and The Ugly, Disgusting Little One Who Catches Cannonballs by ABC.
But that’s none of our business.