Meet Gary He, creator of the Obama-as-Truman meme

Gary He once got clocked by Danny Glover, when he worked as a photographer for the New York Daily News. Today, the native New Yorker is famous for something equally weird: He created the image of Obama as Harry Truman, clutching a tablet computer displaying CNN’s homepage mistake on Thursday morning.

Gary He’s image shows CNN reporting incorrectly that the Supreme Court struck down the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act. (Image courtesy Gary He, @garyhe)

After initially saying “I’m trying not to comment on it,” when reached by telephone, He relented and talked a little bit: “I was following the conversation on Twitter and I made a comment about how CNN’s gaffe was this generation’s Dewey Defeats Truman moment,” he said. Lightbulb: On! He threw together the illustration and tweeted it, thinking “maybe I’ll get a few laughs.”

His image, posted on Yfrog, has been viewed more than 28,000 times. And it’s not just dominating your Facebook feed: In Salon, Alex Pareene used it as the lead image for a blog post. Marc Ambinder tweeted to He that the White House had seen the image. The New York Times ran the darn thing!

He, 27, said he works in PR, and his portfolio is full of intriguing moments like this photo of Jason Segel and Paul Rudd. The NYU grad, who majored in journalism and history, has never had a photo go viral before, and on Twitter at least, he appears to be having a ball.

Related: CNN memo: “We are not the story. The story is the story.” | Abrams warned of media mistakes before Supreme Court ruling | Justice Ginsburg cites Washington Post reporter in health care decision | Who was first with healthcare ruling depends on where you were looking | How SCOTUSblog prepared for today’s health care ruling

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  • Anonymous

    Re Gary’s family name. He is an American, but his ancestors came from Asia, somewhere like China or Taiwan or HK or Macao or Malaysia. He or Ho is the Romanised transliteration of several Chinese family names. Of these family names, He or Ho is the second most common at 71st in the list of the top 100 most common Chinese family names. A common alternative spelling of this surname is Ho, the Mandarin Wade-Giles romanization and the Cantonese romanization of several Chinese family names.

  • Anonymous

    Bravo to lightbulb moments like this and MR HE! wonder-full! I LOVE IT

  • Steve Thornton

    Actually if you will look, the mandate WAS struck down. But the court said that the mandate was actually a tax so the law was allowed. So technically CNN & FOX and others were correct. Also I think the Supreme Court was behind the way it was presented, but that smacks of conspiracy, which I rarely buy into.