Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Donald Trump keeps tweeting “NOT!” jokes

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Over the weekend, small man Donald Trump, wounded by record-worst approval ratings and international scorn over the first month of his presidency, retreated to the embrace of his most ardent supporters by holding rallies in Florida and South Carolina. There, he did the Donald Trump thing: yelling inaccurately about crime, the media, jobs, and how he won the election. (We know you won, Donald. We fucking know.) He also offered one of his administration’s signature made-up tragedies by referencing some sort of attack in Sweden, a thing which did not occur anywhere except for within his frazzled, post-factual mind. Since then, his campaign has spun that lie into a claim that, while there may not have been a specific attack in Sweden to reference, the media is actually the ones lying, because they are claiming that Sweden is safe. (Which they aren’t; they are just claiming that a terrorist attack did not happen there on Friday.)

Here is an Alex Jones affiliate signaling his support for Team Trump by perpetuating this false narrative with an offer that was, immediately and sardonically, taken up by journalists the world over:


This morning, Donald Trump reached into his bag of anachronisms—past his antiquated ideas of a manufacturing-based economy, his belief that all black people live in inner cities, and his firmly held conviction that women are property—and pulled out that old chestnut: the “NOT!” joke.


Whew, hell yeah, Donald, haven’t seen one of those bad puppies used unironically since the ’90s. Or, well, since the last time you used one:


He’s clearly been studying the form of the joke.

In today’s example, he unfortunately misused it, implying that the media is NOT trying to say that immigration is working out, when what he meant to suggest is that immigration itself isn’t working out. It’s a delicate thing, comedy, and Trump is much better off just insulting specific people to their faces. Still, attempting to resuscitate the “NOT!” joke on Twitter is definitely a worthwhile thing for our commander-in-chief to be doing this Presidents Day. (Pause.) Not!


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