If the names Ed and Brian Krassenstein mean nothing to you, you’re one of the lucky ones who’ve steered clear of #Resistance Twitter, where the Florida-based brothers have leveraged their combined one million-plus followers into an illustrated children’s book deal.
While they usually tweet benignly political statements like “TRUTH!” that somehow still get a staggering number of faves, things went sideways when the Brothers Grift started tweeting photos previewing their latest offering—you know, yet another ploy to make money. The kids’ book—which is called How The People Trumped Ronald Plump (really)—looks deeply weird, featuring characters like a swole, shirtless Robert Mueller, who’s still wearing a tie for some reason:
When a Daily Beast reporter pointed this weirdness out, the Krassensteins proceeded to veer further into the bizarre, tweeting back photos of themselves and other shirtless men, both fictional and real, that they revere:
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Amid the uproar, Ed Krassenstein claimed their detractors were calling their project a “fetish picture book,” a phrase that uh, no one seems to be using (although a cursory Twitter search did reveal both brothers’ fondness for tweeting odd conjectures about Trump and Putin’s apparent fetishes):
Predictably, the brothers were in peak CAN I SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER?? mode on Monday morning, campaigning to get the Daily Beast reporter punished or fired. Can someone please explain to them that people are not offended by shirtless men, it’s just very funny to sexualize a special prosecutor in a children’s book? Actually, no, don’t, I want this to go on all week.
Update, 3:29 p.m.: In an email to Splinter, Ed Krassenstein insisted he and his brother were upset with Daily Beast reporter Lachlan Markay because he “posted a photo of my son and cropped it to make my brother look like a pedophile” from the photo they originally tweeted. He also pointed to a post published by the site Big League Politics, which was founded by Breitbart alums, that called the phrase a “fetish picture book” to refute our claim that that criticism wasn’t being used on Twitter.
He also said he is not lobbying for Markay to be fired, just “held accountable” for his tweet.
“My wife was in tears earlier today over this crap. MY SON SHOULD NOT BE BROUGHT INTO THIS,” he said, referring to the photo he tweeted (and has since deleted, along with his other tweets about the matter). “Mock my book all you want, but just because a fictional super hero is shirtless doesn’t make him anything less than someone like He-man or the Hulk.”