Donald Trump skipping Fox News’ GOP debate wasn’t the only humiliation the conservative news network suffered Wednesday. Visitors to their website were in for a bit of a surprise: ads not for one of the many Republican candidates trying to unseat Donald Trump, but for Joe Biden. They weren’t just any Joe Biden ads. They were “Dark Brandon” ads — the very internet meme that drives Fox News hosts nuts.
As per People, the Biden campaign evidently shelled out money to have the ad run all day Wednesday, from midnight through 11:59pm. It features the “Dark Brandon” character: a drawing of Biden beaming a big smile, his eyes a crimson, burning red. “Get real, Jack. I’m bringing Roe back,” the text reads — a nod to the overturning of Roe v Wade by a right-leaning Supreme Court last summer. On top of giving visitors to the Fox News site easy access to Biden’s campaign page, it also reminds them about the GOP’s wildly unpopular stance on abortion access.
The ”Dark Brandon” meme evolved out of the “Let’s Go Brandon” bit created by conservatives in 2021. The term was code for “F*ck Joe Biden.” One classy guy even used it on Biden himself during a children’s Christmas event about Santa Claus. Eventually it was co-opted by Democrats to describe how Biden, who had a rough first year in office, had started getting stuff done. Any time he passes some remarkable piece of legislation or stands up to Republicans, the “Dark Brandon” jokes fly, much to the far right’s chagrin.
Fox News isn’t the only place getting “Dark Brandon” ads. Three other versions will appear on billboards in Milwaukee, addressing other issues. One of them reads, Get on board, folks. We’re lowering prescription drug costs.” Another: “Social Security cuts? Try me.” The last one: “Tax cuts for yacht owners? Good luck with that, champ.”
Meanwhile, the Fox News GOP debate was not exactly an inspiring affair, mostly featuring in-fighting, with multiple candidates sticking it to businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. The counter-programming bit, namely Trump’s Twitter chat with Tucker Carlson, wasn’t much more exciting, with the low energy former president at one point rambling about Biden’s popular beach photos.