Cooper’s videos elicit a lot of clapter. Ah, yes! He’s so stupid! I know it! What an idiot!Even her defenders struggle to maintain that they are actually funny, though. ‘At this point, their value to me is informational, not comedic,’ says one writer for Mel magazine, ‘It is easier to stomach and process Trump’s appalling remarks without looking at his sweaty ham of a face.’ This effect, of course, could be achieved by someone who is not even attempting to be funny.
But the Mel writer makes a valuable observation. Cooper’s appeal also lies in the idea that her lip-synching, like Baldwin’s impersonations, must really annoy the President. There was even a half-hearted conspiracy theory that Trump wanted to ban TikTok to suppress her videos. It is not impossible for this to be true, though it seems unlikely that Trump even knows who she is. He watched Baldwin’s skits because he is addicted to the television. I doubt he is as compelled to follow others on Twitter.
The liberal obsession with ‘getting under Trump’s skin’ is a cousin of the conservative mania for ‘triggering the libs’, which has inspired a million heroically uncreative ‘jokes’ about, for instance, ‘identifying as an attack helicopter’. There is no humour in the joke itself. The humour lies in imagining the outraged reactions of one’s opponents, who, quite probably, are not even paying attention.