Charlotte Tyler
August 26, 2023

Liberals and the media erupt over Trump's viral mugshot: 'Sinister apparition'

On Thursday night, media outlets and liberal journalists reacted strongly to the release of former President Donald Trump's mugshot, with some proclaiming it to be a "sinister apparition," a "threat," and a sign that has further galvanized his supporters.

Others chose to ridicule Trump over the photograph, inquiring whether he was "crying."

One individual commented on Trump's attempt to appear defiant despite his surrender to Fulton County, Georgia, authorities, as Fox News reported.

Where Trump supporters saw a persecuted man falsely indicted on corrupt charges brought by Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis, liberal media commentators seem to have seen angry, scowling man vowing to inflict further havoc on American democracy.

From The Articles

The Atlantic published multiple articles characterizing Trump's mugshot expression as "extremely serious" and indicative of a "threat" to his political opponents.

The first piece from the outlet, titled, "The Mug Shot Is a Warning," likened Trump’s glaring expression to the Greek mythological villain Medusa, who would turn men to stone if they made eye-contact with her.

It stated, "Athena punished Medusa by turning her hair into a writhing tangle of serpents, and then by ensuring that anyone who looked into Medusa’s eyes would be turned to stone. In shaping their story of a gaze made violent, the creators of that early democracy were prescient about the man who has tried to destroy ours."

The article proclaimed, "Donald Trump’s head may be covered in spray rather than snakes, but he is a Medusa all the same, reconfigured for the age of mass media: Once you look at him, your fate is already sealed."

More Commentators' Take

Describing the image in detail, the piece stated, "In the portrait — it is a portrait, in the end — Trump glares directly into the camera. He seethes. He glowers. He turns in a studied performance. Photos like this are typically exercises in enforced humility. Trump’s is a display of ongoing power. He treats his mug shot as our menace."

The piece stated, "Trump’s photo offers a rough visage, formidable and extremely serious—which is what I assume he was going for. He made an effort here. It paid off. He gave his haters nothing in the ballpark of vulnerability."

Thursday, MSNBC presenter Joy Reid referred to the image as a "sinister apparition," attributing a more malevolent connotation to it.

She declared, "He’s sort of the avatar for the rage that he has traded off of to become president in the first place. That is not the sort of funny reality show star that Americans elected in 2016. That is a sinister apparition I’m seeing in front of me."

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