In fact, the internet (and indeed, all of America) got its first look at newly christened White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Saturday, just one day after the swearing-in. And it’s not a stretch to say the early reviews have not been all that positive.
Within hours of his press statement Saturday, the world of social media was flooded with jokes and jibes, mocking Spicer’s apparent willingness to say absolutely anything to stay in his newest job and, presumably, to placate the ego of his new boss.
As first impressions go, this one stirred up an immense amount of criticism and mockery, as he attacked reporters and denounced the media’s coverage of the inauguration, specifically the crowd size Trump drew to the National Mall. He falsely insisted, in stark contradiction of plain photographic evidence, that Trump’s inauguration drew more viewers than President Obama’s first one in 2009 and, indeed, was the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.”
Former Bush administration press secretary Ari Fleischer and former Obama administration press secretary Jay Carney sparred over Spicer’s performance.
This is called a statement you're told to make by the President. And you know the President is watching.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) January 21, 2017
— Jay Carney (@JayCarney) January 22, 2017
Thus, a meme was born.
Here are some of the best jokes that have been circulating since, many of them under hashtags like #SpicerFacts and #SeanSpicerSays.
— Susanna💙 (@SusannaMatte) January 22, 2017
"And I want it reported in all the headlines that the President's hands are the biggest Presidential hands EVER, PERIOD."#seanspicerfacts
— Rus McLaughlin (@rusmclaughlin) January 22, 2017
"Trump's 450 pound bench press continues to be ignored by the dishonest media" #SeanSpicerFacts
— Aaron van de Weijenbergh (@aweyenberg) January 21, 2017
— Zack Pohl (@ZackPohl) January 22, 2017
The four most confusing quotes from Sean Spicer's White House briefing yesterday pic.twitter.com/jqe4bwMUlQ
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) January 22, 2017
— Ken Reid (@KennethWReid) January 22, 2017
Guess the number of jelly beans.
— 𝕞𝕒𝕣𝕜 𝕫𝕠𝕙𝕒𝕣 (@markzohar) January 22, 2017
"The Beatles, INCLUDING John & George, played the inaugural concert and President Trump applauded them with his HUGE HANDS." #SeanSpicerSays
— Mitch Benn🇬🇧🇪🇺 (@MitchBenn) January 22, 2017
"There is no design flaw or weakness on this Death Star." pic.twitter.com/uhSwzene4m
— José Rivera (@whoisjoserivera) January 22, 2017
— Dr. David Shiffman (@WhySharksMatter) January 22, 2017
— Jamal Yaseem Igle, #BoycottJohnBoltonsbook (@JAMALIGLE) January 22, 2017
It’s no stretch to say that this probably wasn’t the introduction to the public Spicer was looking for, nor the sort of maiden voyage that the White House press corps was hoping for. To the contrary, it set a bad tone and a bad precedent for what’s to come.
One of the costs of this kind of performance is probably clearer to Spicer now, however—the internet doesn’t forget, and it always has some stinging jokes.