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

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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