According to the Inquirer, the neighborhood has become a tourist attraction, with people stopping by to take photo-ops outside the buildings and phone lines ringing off the hook. As of yet, the newspaper reported, there’s been little actual new business.
A 78-year-old employee of the sex shop told one reporter he didn’t know why the Trump campaign chose their corner of town for the event, and told the Inquirer the store has been swamped by a flood of phone calls since Saturday with callers asking for Rudy Giuliani.
The shop seems to be taking the attention in stride though, posting on Facebook “knock who’s there?…Rudy Giuliani I’m lost at Fantasy Island ADULT bookstore” and following up with “You gotta show LOVE even when they don’t or you become one of them!”
The debacle has also inspired hundreds of memes — from jokes about comedian Nathan Fielder plotting to name a landscaping company after a fancy hotel to Saturday Night Live’s Stefon calling the Four Seasons “Philly’s hottest club.”
“The event itself is obviously humorous because it’s a gaffe and one that is easy prey for critics of Guliani and Trump online,” Know Your Meme associate editor Zach Sweat told Teen Vogue. “Most of the memes simply mock what many perceived as mere idiocy over the mistaken location. But others have compared it to satirical shows such as Parks and Rec or Veep for its similarities to an event or blunder you’d see on a show, which feels like it’s ripped straight from television.”
“Mostly what we’ve seen is memes commenting on these themes, primarily on Twitter and fewer on sites like Reddit or TikTok,” Sweat said. “It’s also quite funny that the landscaping company’s merch was trending a bit on Twitter as a result, especially its sticker that read ‘Make America Rake Again.’ You just can’t make this stuff up … too perfect for another WTF moment of 2020.”
Of course, the press conference’s venue took up so much attention, there’s barely been space to talk about what was actually discussed: baseless voter fraud allegations.
Standing outside the landscaping company, behind a podium framed by Trump-Pence signs, Giuliani spewed untrue statements about voting irregularities in Pennsylvania and falsely claiming that poll-watchers weren’t allowed at counting locations throughout the state. As noted by Vox, that claim has been debunked by both the courts and publicly available video evidence.
Trump’s legal team’s choice in speakers also prompted scrutiny. Politico reported that the first witness Giuliani brought up to attest to these baseless vote suppression allegations, Daryl Brooks, is a convicted sex offender.
Still, Brooks’ and Giuliani’s false claims didn’t get much attention. They were overshadowed by the election being called for Biden within the same timeframe — and by where they were standing: Not the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia.
Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Donald Trump’s Loss Celebrated By Americans Across the Country (PHOTOS)