The Twitter Account That Turns Trump Into a Punchline

Donald Trump’s tweets have seemed cartoonish from the start. Now, a Twitter account has finally done the obvious thing: make them into cartoons.

The twitter account @TrumpNewYorker takes Trump’s tweets and pastes them onto random New Yorker cartoons. It was created by James O’Malley, a freelance journalist based in the United Kingdom and inspired by Twitter users matching jokes with evergreen New Yorker cartoons. After trying to write his own captions, he realized it would be better to let Trump do the work for him. His creation has saved twitter users a lot of time and aggravation.

“I’ve seen people say ‘don’t follow Trump himself, follow this bot instead, because you get the same content,” O’Malley says.

O’Malley’s algorithm randomly selects a cartoon from a bank of about 50 and a tweet from Trump’s seven-plus years of tweets. Many of the mash-ups don’t make sense, as Trump often tweets out links and ellipses which don’t usually make for good cartoon captions. Often, though, the cartoons and tweets make for a perfect match.

Is there a better image to goad on Hillary 2020 than the ghost of Richard Nixon? Likewise, who better to crow about “failing Obamacare” than a wide-eyed elephant on a therapist’s couch?

While responding to Trump’s tweets in real time, the bot sprinkles in a few of the president’s greatest hits. These are tweets everyone will remember, and are usually tagged #classictrump to make the distinction.

And after eight months in operation, the account is finally having its moment in the sun. On Monday, CNN’s Jake Tapper retweeted a cartoon from the bot, calling it “an interesting way to read Trump’s tweets.” O’Malley appreciated the praise from a fellow journalist.

Tapper’s endorsement thrusts the account into a new realm. Clowning on Donald Trump on Twitter has become as American as apple pie. But @TrumpNewYorker does something different and new. It’s lets you follow the president’s antics while acknowledging the absurdity of hanging on one man’s every tweet.

“It’s like a coping mechanism for the craziness,” O’Malley said.