This is small potatoes, I know. And like I said earlier, I can believe that Cooper himself didn’t send the tweet. The cost of doing so would have vastly exceeded the benefit to him.

But when you’ve got a major news organization trying to pass off an obviously implausible scenario like this as fact, attention must be paid.

Wasn’t sent from Cooper’s phone: Believable. Cooper was in D.C., not NYC: Believable. Cooper’s assistant was at the gym and walked away from his phone while it was unlocked and was away from it long enough that someone was able to find his way to Twitter, read through the timeline, and find a Trump tweet that he deemed worth replying to: Not so believable. Was the “someone” here a friend or a stranger? How long did the guy have control of the phone? Did he do anything else with it while he had it? How long was it before the assistant got the phone back and realized what had happened? If it was a stranger who did it, is any legal action being taken? If it was a friend pranking Cooper’s assistant, why didn’t he tweet something silly from Cooper’s account instead of an earnest criticism at the president? What kind of friend would “prank” a buddy by abusing his access to the account of a famous news anchor followed by 10 million people knowing that his friend might very well be fired over the embarrassment?

Let me suggest an alternate scenario. The dumb assistant has his own Twitter account in addition to access to Cooper’s. He meant to tweet something nasty at Trump from his own account but forgot that he was logged into Cooper’s, a not uncommon mistake in social media. (Every month or so, a corporate PR account will tweet something weird or controversial that was obviously supposed to have come from the manager’s private account.) But CNN can’t admit that because then it would prove that Anderson Cooper’s assistant hates Trump, which will start another round of “fake news” attacks on the network. So instead they’re pushing this cockamamie story about a mysterious third party unconnected to the network somehow commandeering Cooper’s assistant’s phone and, in the presumably few minutes that he had control of it, deciding that the thing he most wanted to do with it wasn’t to scroll through photos or read emails or whatever but to get on Twitter and start farting around there.

Exit quotation from a Twitter pal: “First thing I do when I find an unlocked iPhone is open Twitter.”