Oct 11, 2020

What's All This Buzz Swarming About The Fly On Pence’s Head?

Kristin Kerr

irst, the presidential debate between Trump and Biden took place, which was absolute chaos, to say the least. Shortly after, Taylor Swift baked cookies in support of Biden, and if you’ve followed along in the 2020 election madness, you’ve likely seen the emerging tweets, memes, and jokes about the famous fly who touched down on Vice President Mike Pence’s white hair midway through the vice-presidential debate last week. For more than two minutes, the fly on Pence’s head stayed put — a jarring black dot on millions of TV screens. The fly on Pence’s head was without a doubt the most talked-about moment at the Salt Lake City debate.


Pretty Fly For A White Guy?

It’s not an over-exaggeration to say the fly on Pence’s head was the most talked-about moment of the debate. Under a minute of the fly making itself at home on Pence’s head, parody Twitter fly accounts were created, Snapchat introduced white hair and fly filter, and a mere 50 memes were created. Who knew such a small living creature could have such a huge effect on the World Wide Web. The word ‘flies’ was even trending on Twitter following the debate. Let’s not forget one of the parody Twitter accounts about the fly on Pence’s head has 120,000 followers and counting. 


This Wasn’t The First Presidential Fly…

Believe it or not, the fly on Pence’s head wasn’t the first to appear during a presidential debate.  Michael Dickinson, a professor of biology and bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology mentioned this fly reminded him of a video of Obama swatting and killing a fly during a 2009 interview. Similarly, a series of images of Obama killing the fly were posted as a result. Don’t worry, Pence, you aren’t the only one! Adding to the Obama and Pence fly saga, there’s also been digital proof of Hillary Clinton with a fly on her eyebrow during a 2016 presidential debate. This looks too real to be photoshopped. 

Creating Even More Buzz

Aside from the memes, jokes, parody accounts, and videos swarming the Internet about the fly on Pence’s head, the Biden-Harris campaign saw this moment as an opportunity for further publicity. Shortly after the fly went viral, Biden tweeted fundraising ask - “Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly”. The website flywillvote.com was also created as a result, which redirected users to a voter registration website. 


Time is Ticking

With just about two more weeks until the 2020 presidential election, it’s important to note that America is about to face an ever-changing election in November. The result of this election will have global repercussions for democracy, progress, relations, and climate emergency. Not to mention the issues related to healthcare access, gender equality, and racial justice in the US. Despite everything, it truly is worth voting this November. This year is about much more than voting out Trump. America has experienced traumas related to Covid-19, the largest movement against racism in recent history, and record-setting wildfires. Real change is possible when we come together. Americans, please help guide the US towards a brighter future this November. 

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