Things are pretty scary right now. Not only is the pandemic surging across the nation, hitting new records in infections and deaths — and with an election looming — but Trump’s starting to send even more federal agents to cities to square off against mostly peaceful protesters, beginning in Portland and now expanding to Chicago and Albuquerque. Donald J. Trump is the kind of renaissance man who can inspire anxiety as well as mockery.
As it’s widely known, our sitting president has very thin skin, and he continues to talk about a cognitive exam that he took a year ago — an exam he boasted he “aced.” Over the weekend, Fox News aired an interview between Trump and Chris Wallace, one of the news networks most critical and tough employees, with Wallace pointing out that the test isn’t that hard.
“They have a picture and it says ‘what’s that’ and it’s an elephant,” Wallace pointed out. Trump, as is his nature, insisted it was harder than Wallace claimed and that his presumptive presidential opponent, Joe Biden, couldn’t do it.
On Wednesday, Trump was talking about the test yet again, this time during a more sympathetic Fox News one-on-one with Dr. Marc Siegel. A medical consultant with the network, Siegel stood there, patiently listening to the president of the United States explain that not only did he ace the basic test, he allegedly received extra points for being able to repeat five words over and over again.
Trump gave an example, seemingly by looking at things that were at the time in front of him, and choosing five objects: “person, woman, man, camera, TV.” He kept repeating them, to show to Siegel, and to the whole world watching, that he can remember five words.
It was…strange. And certain swaths of Twitter, looking for a lighthearted distraction, was quick to turn it into a meme.
"Person, woman, man, camera, TV" – Trump 2020 pic.twitter.com/MqmcwPWNv1
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) July 23, 2020
"Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV" was the title of my third album. It had a Talking Heads vibe.
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) July 23, 2020
Good night person.
Good night man.
Good night woman jumping over the moon.
Good night camera.
Good night TV with the red balloon.
— Patrick Dillon (@mpdillon) July 23, 2020
It's a pretty big tumble from "shining city upon a hill" to "Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV."
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) July 23, 2020
I'm a person, I'm a woman
I'm a man, I'm a camera
I'm a tv, I'm a saint,
I do not feel ashamed. https://t.co/KtAOIGomMH
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) July 23, 2020
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
person, woman, man, camera, TV. person, woman, man, camera, TV. person, woman, man, camera, TV. person, woman, ma
— Philippe Reines (@PhilippeReines) July 23, 2020
“Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV” is my new band name. @realDonaldTrump
— NoelCaslerComedy (@CaslerNoel) July 23, 2020
Some brought Biden, who has his own issues with saying weird things, into the mix.
Who else wants Joe Biden to walk up to Donald Trump at the first debate, look him in the eye, say person, woman, man, camera, TV, and then stroll casually back to the podium.
— Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) July 23, 2020
Some were not amused. They were furious.
Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV, 70,000 COVID Cases Today. pic.twitter.com/74O87vajOd
— Pod Save America (@PodSaveAmerica) July 23, 2020
And some — including longtime Republicans who are about as anti-Trump as a good chunk of the nation is — tried to blend rage with humor.
Trump: "Person, woman, man, camera, TV."
America: "Constitution, 25th Amendment, invoke, remove, goodbye."
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 23, 2020