Obama's Heckler Draws Mockery, Loathing

Liberals make Joe Wilson an Internet meme

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When Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie" during Obama's speech to Congress, he could have had no idea the torrent of web-based mockery that was about to be unleashed. Both Wilson's name and his heckle shot to the top of Twitter's most-used phrases within hours as everyone from serious liberal pundits to webby jokesters found new and exciting ways to make fun of him. Here are the best from Wilson's short but memorable tenure as an Internet meme and object of liberal scorn.

  • The Simpson's Wins  David Weigel's reference to an old Simpson's episode has been the most circulated joke. "BREAKING: @CongJoeWilson clarifies his remarks, explains that he was saying 'Boo-urns!'" he wrote. ("@CongJoeWilson" is Wilson's handle on Twitter.) In the 1995 episode, Homer Simpson's villainous boss, Montgomery Burns, is booed but later told the crowd was merely shouting "Boo-urns."
  • No Better Insults?  Daily Show alum Mo Rocca suggested alternative heckles. "'You lie!' is just so crass. At least try something classy: Balderdash! or Malarkey! or Twaddle! or even J'accuse!" He added, "C'mon Rep Wilson, you're southern. Why not ... Folderol! or Fiddledeedee!" Rocca also cited Wilson's concern with immigration. "Rep Wilson, since your beef is w/ illegal aliens, you really should have gone with ¡MENTIRA!"
  • The "You Lie!" Meme  Writers find exciting new ways to introduce Wilson's heckle into daily life. Mark Lisanti: "I just screamed 'You lie!' at the 7-11 clerk when he told me my total...and he loved it! I think this bit is really going to catch on." Jesse Taylor: "This comes with a large fry for only 80 cents more? You Lie!" More Jesse Taylor: "The Simpsons is still on the air? You Lie!" Anonymous Twitter user Pourmecoffee: "GOP openly nipping at flasks and booing now. Many trying to get laser pointer in Obama's eyes." More Pourmecoffee: "See, the GOP does have a plan -- and that plan is to yell 'Liar!' like a fourth-grader."
  • More Jokes  Musician Jill Sobule: "Joe Wilson yelled out 'FREE BIRD' in the middle of my ballad." Comedian Dave Holmes: "BREAKING: SC has changed its state motto to: 'SO ANYWAY! DID YOU HEAR ABOUT ELLEN DEGENERES ON AMERICAN IDOL?'" Sam Seder: "Wilson's apology: I'm proud to be a douchebag, but do feel sorry I let everyone know I am one."
  • Viral Mockery  Wired's Mat Honan, who last year launched the ultra-viral website BarackObamaIsYourNewBicycle.com, followed up last night with JoeWilsonIsYourPreExistingCondition.com. Honan's original site randomly loads a one-sentence line attributing a pedestrian but nice action to Barack Obama. For example, "Barack Obama paid your speeding ticket." His new endeavor attributes various tiny bad acts to Joe Wilson, such as, "Joe Wilson didn't refill your Brita pitcher."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.