JK Rowling isn’t just the author of the Harry Potter saga: she’s also the undeniable queen of Twitter – particularly when it comes to her social media takedowns.
From Theresa May to Piers Morgan, the author has used her digital version of the Quick Quotes Quill to call out a plethora of public figures on their actions. Unsurprisingly, President Donald Trump is often in Rowling’s sights – so there was little chance she’d stay quiet about the POTUS’ controversial response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.
The storm has so far left at least 30 people dead and displaced more than 30,000 from their homes. Shortly after the disaster, the president flew out to Texas, declared the state a disaster area and released federal funds to help the relief effort. All whilst wearing branded campaign merchandise (available to buy via his online shop, of course).
Since then, the Houston Police Department have reported that at least 3,500 people have been rescued from flooded areas, and Trump has visited the recovery effort in Corpus Christi, around 30 miles from the most severely affected areas.
However his hyperbolic language and initial failure to meet or even mention any of those directly affected by the disaster has proven problematic for many – and this was compounded further when journalist Jonathan Tilove tweeted a quote from Trump's remarks on 29 August at the response centre.
“Harvey,” the POTUS is alleged to have said. “It sounds like such an innocent name, but isn’t.”
It wasn’t long before the tweet went viral – and Rowling, spotting it in her Twitter feed, couldn’t resist responding with one of her iconic barbs.
“Close your eyes,” she asked her followers. “Open a telephone directory. Point at the page. Open your eyes.
“That's the name of the person who could do better than this.”
Close your eyes. Open a telephone directory. Point at the page. Open your eyes. That's the name of the person who could do better than this. https://t.co/Zd3Feox1Gz— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 29, 2017
Naturally, people were keen to give the game a go, and it wasn’t long before a swarm of “random better presidents” were storming social media.
My finger landed on a cockroach in a pest control ad. I conclude that she is correct.— Somnio (@Key_Somniorum) August 29, 2017
a pet rock could do better than this.— Elizabeth M. (@_ElizabethMay) August 29, 2017
I'm looking at my cat, who is currently licking his own butt. He's so goddamn presidential I'm about to start singing "Hail to the Chief."— Kate Schmidt (@kateschmidt) August 29, 2017
While Rowling prefers to adopt wit and flair to undermine Trump’s presidency, the Anne Frank Centre has opted for a more serious approach.
Taking to Twitter, the organisation – which addresses civil and human rights across America – has published a list of Trump’s recent actions to highlight the “escalating parallels of history.”
With regards to the third point on the list, Trump claimed that many of those gathered for the Charlottesville rally were “very fine people” and that those who had marched alongside in support of the neo-Nazis, racists and white nationalists had been treated “absolutely unfairly” by the press.
In contrast, he has always been quick to cite “radical Islamic terrorism” for attacks in the past – and used this year’s terrorist attacks in London as a reason to plug his proposal for a travel ban, halting refugees from entering the USA, as well as immigrants from seven “majority-Muslim countries,” including Syria, Somalia and Iran.
While Rowling’s tweet has been praised by many, others have condemned it.
“I see assumptions by a alt left individual,” said one. “There's no research or intellect to this post either. But hey, free speech is a right.”
Images: Rex Features