Sean Spicer found himself becoming a meme that went places few — if any — political memes have gone.
After claiming on Saturday that President Donald Trump’s inauguration “was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in-person and around the globe,” — which photographic evidence, at the very least, showed it could not have been — the meme was born.
And it didn’t take long for Spicer to spurn multiple hashtags, have his tweets mined, and see a photo of himself from the press briefing room go viral. There was even a Twitter Moment titled “It’s a fact — Trump’s press secretary has become a meme,” and his five-year-long feud with Dippin’ Dots was unearthed.
Most political memes remain confined to politics Twitter, only being circulated by the Washington elite and journalism class. But the Spicer meme was different — it managed to spill out into the mainstream.
The newly minted White House press secretary was even parodied by the professional sports world.
Spicer attempted to walk back his statement a bit during his Monday press briefing, claiming that he meant the combination of in-person and global viewers was what he meant, but it was too late. The damage was already done.
The meme hit so hard it went far beyond politics. The NHL’s Dallas Stars claimed on its jumbotron near the end of a Saturday night game that the paid attendance was “1.5 million.”
Gregg Popovich, the head coach of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, also made a point of calling out Spicer on Saturday, and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr invoked a Spicer joke when speaking of his lacklustre career with the Orlando Magic after he was addressed as “former Orlando Magic great.”
“Yes, Sean Spicer will be talking about my Magic career any second now,” he told reporters Sunday. “14,000 points, greatest player in Magic history.”
As if breaking through the typically politically-free zone of pro sports was not enough, Spicer found himself being lampooned by video gamers too.
As New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman wrote, the early episode for Spicer looks like it could be a defining mark on his stint as press secretary.
“No, I did not become a meme about telling absurd lies after my very first press conference.” – Sean Spicer #SeanSpicerPressReleases pic.twitter.com/GCqfzDt5Eg
— Ben Stadler (@TheBenStadler) January 22, 2017
“Instead of having some sort of bulky gamer headset, you’ll be able to do it right off your smartphone…that’s a pretty sweet solution.” pic.twitter.com/YdnLHwQGTi
— David Abrams (@CheapyD) January 22, 2017
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