‘Just as we painted it’: What’s behind Joe Biden’s Super Bowl participation? | Joe Biden News

It’s an image that could belong in a movie that’s part horror, part sci-fi: US President Joe Biden He stands against a shadowy background, bright red lasers emanating from his eyes, and a US flag brooch shines prominently on his lapel.

However, there was no meme page or crack account posting that image: it was just that to publish on Biden’s X page early Monday. Against the backdrop of the brutal war launched by Israel on Gaza, which claimed the lives of more than 28,000 people and which was supported by the United States, the photo sparked particular criticism of Biden from some social media users.

Here’s everything we know about Biden’s participation so far:

What was the post about?

Biden’s participation came after Kansas City Chiefs Defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.

Singer Taylor Swift – arguably the biggest name in entertainment who has previously criticized former US President Donald Trump, Biden’s main rival in the 2024 election – is dating Travis Kelce, who plays for the Chiefs. While Swift’s appearances at NFL games this season have helped the sport’s brand, it has also sparked conspiracy theories from sections of the far-right, which suggested the NFL was conspiring to get the Chiefs to win. Create a backdrop for Swift to endorse Biden’s candidacy.

Despite the leaders’ victory, Swift has yet to announce her support for any presidential candidate. This did not prevent Biden from mocking the conspiracy theory with his tweet, which indicated that he had planned this moment.

Biden’s tweet sparked a range of reactions to X, ranging from digital eye movements to responses expressing disappointment and anger.

Many users wondered if Biden’s account had been hacked. Others joked about a trainee posting the photo while others noted how they thought a parody account posted the photo at first glance.

Many noted that Biden’s post was distasteful and insensitive because it came amid Israel’s devastating war on Gaza.

While the Biden administration called for an end to the killing of civilians in Gaza It continues to sell And supplying Israel with weapons.

Ahmed Al-Rawi, an associate professor of news, social media and public communication at Simon Fraser University in Canada, said that given the war in Gaza, the post was not “appropriate.”

“But I don’t think Biden is thinking about the global audience here,” he said. “He’s thinking mostly about his American audience.”

What is the Dark Brandon meme?

The alt text or image description in Biden’s post simply says “Brandon Dark.” This is a reference to a meme dating back to October 2021.

A crowd of people were chanting obscenities about Joe Biden during a race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. While interviewing race winner Brandon Brown, NBC sports reporter Kelly Stavast interpreted the chants as “Let’s go Brandon”, and reported them as such on live television.

Since then, the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” has become a code for verbal abuse at Biden, giving Republican politicians new language to use against Biden online, circumvent censorship and deflect criticism. The phrase also began to appear as song lyrics.

Brandon memes have evolved since then and various renditions of an image of Biden with lasers shooting from his eyes — dubbed “Dark Brandon” — have begun circulating the internet.

Even snippets of the Dark Brandon meme appeared at the conference venue The third Republican November 2023 presidential primary debate.

snippets of "Dark Brandon" Internet memes are playing across from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the venue for the third Republican presidential primary debate in Miami.
Excerpts from the ‘Dark Brandon’ internet meme are displayed across from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, venue of the third Republican presidential primary debate in Miami, Florida, on November 8, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

Has Biden made similar posts in the past?

Regardless of the origin, the meme meant to mock and criticize Biden has been repeatedly co-opted by Democrats and Biden himself. His sarcastic confession to Brandon’s phrase began early in 2021 and has continued.

In April 2023, Biden wore dark shades after making a joke about becoming a “dark Brandon” character during a White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington, D.C.

President Joe Biden wears sunglasses after making a joke about becoming the man "Dark Brandon" A figure during the White House Correspondents' Association dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington,
Biden made a joke about becoming a “Dark Brandon” character during the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. on April 29, 2023. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

The Biden campaign published its first post on Truth Social, his presidential rival Donald Trump’s conservative social media network, in October 2023. With a profile photo of Dark Brandon, the verified @BidenHQ account posted, “Okay. Let’s see how “It will work out. Converts welcome!”

This appropriation of memes is part of an ongoing political war, said Al-Rawi, who has researched and written about the politics of memes.

“The meme in itself is a political communication tool,” he told Al Jazeera. “It is being used as a weapon by various parties in order to attract attention and distract from other issues.”

The narrator believes that Brandon’s meme worked to Biden’s advantage from the perspective of his supporters, who like the fact that he is under political attack. On the other hand, the narrator said, it may seem insensitive in parts of the Global South.

Al-Rawi also attributed Biden’s efforts to “imitate” political messages to attempts to connect with young voters. And Biden’s ability to govern Subject to audit Because of his age and memory problems.

Biden is not the only politician to use memes to convey political messages. Social media teams and followers of politicians, including former US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have relied on memes and internet trends to reinforce political messages.

Al-Rawi said that world leaders used to communicate through press releases and statements broadcast on television, but the emergence of social media changed the way they communicate with the public.

Memes are one such method.

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