One of the best parts of being president is the ability to pluck pieces of prestigious art from the Smithsonian’s collection to hang in the White House. But Rothko, Schmothko. Why would Donald Trump need some pretentious dreck when he’s had the e’er-so-subtle paintstrokes of patriotic artist Jon McNaughton gifted to him, allegedly, by his friend Sean Hannity?
Hannity loves this painting. He referenced it on his television show. He used a still of “The Forgotten Man” as the backdrop for the YouTube version of the opening monologue of his post-Election Day radio show.
And what’s to dislike? You’ve got Obama stone-cold standing on the Constitution. He doesn’t care. He never cares. Who does care? James Madison cares. There’s James Madison, incredulous, saying, Um? you’re standing on my shit? Money is on the ground. Eli Manning, I think, is sitting on a bench. He has just lost the big game. No one BUT NO ONE benches Eli Manning, an apoplectic Abraham Lincoln bellows. George W. Bush is visibly confused about what’s going on here and doesn’t know where to stand.
Hannity confirmed in a tweet that he had purchased “The Forgotten Man,” but did not mention for whom.
It may be that “The Forgotten Man” will just be another canvas on the pile of Sean Hannity’s vast patriotic art collection. Carly Shanahan, a spokeperson for Fox News, denies Hannity purchased this painting as a gift for Donald Trump, saying he instead bought it for his own personal use. There is precedent for this: In 2012, Hannity purchased a McNaughton original titled “One Nation Under Socialism” that showed Obama holding a burning Constitution.
But Taylor Dickson, who works for McNaughton Fine Art in Utah, told Slate a different story. According to Dickson, Hannity and McNaughton spoke on the phone, and Hannity told McNaughton that he indeed wanted to buy the original to give to Donald Trump to hang in the White House. He forwarded me the official McNaughton Fine Art press release announcing, in bold type, that “Sean Hannity purchased the original ‘The Forgotten Man’ to give President Trump to hang in the White House.”
We will update this post if new information emerges, and we’ll also let you know if Obama ever stops burning the Constitution.