Devin Nunes made the comment during Laura Ingraham’s show, The Ingraham Angle, where he was discussing the “cottage industry” of press people who have been following and reporting on special counsel Mueller’s probe of Trump, revealing to the public what has been going on behind closed doors. Nunes seemed annoyed by the numerous camera people he saw waiting for him when he arrived at the Capitol for what he considered to be a routine meeting.
“I don’t know what these people are going to do — this cottage industry of press people. They’re going to have to go learn code or something, which was Obama’s plan. Because they’re not going to have a job after this!” he said – knowingly or not citing a popular meme that had been trending throughout January.
The meme began last month when more than a thousand journalists from BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, as well as Verizon and Gannett media companies were laid off. Users on Twitter began to give “career advice”, encouraging the laid off journalists to learn software development as an alternative career path – in a trollish manner. Internet users recalled the time when journalists had published a number of articles about the crisis in the coal industry, telling stories about coal miners learning to code as an alternative occupation.
Hey laid off journalists who are upset that people are telling you to "learn how to code":— Alex VanNess (@thealexvanness) 27 января 2019 г.
Go mine some coal and then go fuck yourselves. pic.twitter.com/lYWDIIcCKm
The phrase went viral, gaining the attention of Twitter administrators, who have suspended the accounts of ‘trolls’ using the phrase “learn to code” for abusive behaviour. Twitter said that the repeated use of the phrase “learn to code” directed at journalists amounted to a “targeted harassment campaign” and therefore was against the platform’s rules.