National Cheesesteak Day Philadelphia Twitter photos of Jim Kenney’s order is steak hoagie
Some Philadelphians have disagreed with Mayor Jim Kenney over his policies. Others can now do the same because of his cheesesteak order. But those are the pictures people are really angry about.
On Friday, for National Cheesesteak Day, the city’s Twitter account celebrated the event by tweeting Kenney’s alleged cheesesteak order: American cheese, onions and ketchup. Doubtful, but to make matters worse it was accompanied by pictures of an unidentified hoagie monstrosity — we hesitate to call it a cheesesteak, and the mayor’s office later confirmed it isn’t — topped with pickles, banana peppers and a thick drizzle of fire-engine-red ketchup.
Within an hour, the tweet received more than 53,000 views and a number of furious responses. But we don’t buy that these photos are honest.
While we can’t say for sure, between the poorly composed photos and the city’s repeated use of the smiley face emoji, this looks like a classic case of rage to us.
What is rage-baiting and what does it have to do with cheesesteaks?
Rage-baiting, also known as rage-farming, is a common practice on social media where content creators publish things that will intentionally make viewers angry. Usually the goal is to earn virality because, let’s face it, when people are angry about a tweet or a video, they share it.
On TikTok, noted rage addict Ryan Gawlik would purposefully call espresso “espresso” or bite into an entire KitKat bar without breaking it with the goal of increasing his engagement. It has become a lucrative move for his career, he told Insider.
Especially in the food environment, deliberately bad and rough takes are popular. Like tabletop nachos. Or, more recently, a “scratch-made” pasta made from mixed boxed pasta that caused a furore.
The city’s tweet, we suspect, is no different. When one user responded: “This can’t be real,” the city’s account responded: “????,” best known as “grimacing face,” a yellow face with clenched teeth meant to express nervousness or awkwardness.
The photos are also particularly gross, almost resembling something from the popular Instagram site Boys Who Can Cook – a meme account that posts pictures of meals that look bad on purpose – or hearkening back to 2013 when Martha Stewart was roasted netizens for their ugly food photography.
It’s worth noting that the Philly account’s food photos appear to be originally sourced. A Google reverse image search could not track down anywhere else they had been published. That means someone in the mayor’s office may have actually cooked that meal — yup.
Tthe images do not conform to Kenney’s usual order
Some light social research was able to quickly confirm the fact that Kenney has a real taste for the American, onion and ketchup combo. His press team later confirmed the same to The Inquirer. He also recommends the Trainwreck Cheesesteak at Beck’s Cajun Café for a less traditional order, a spokesperson said.
But he never ordered pickles, raw tomatoes and everything else that was put in these pictures.
In fact, the mayor posted a tweet from his own account about National Cheesesteak Day with a seemingly normal-looking cheesesteak (although he chose ketchup) being put together at the Reading Terminal Market and then on its way to his desk.
In 2018, Kenney tweeted about a trip to Max where he got American cheese, onions and – not ketchup, but hot sauce. Acceptable!
What does the city say about its tweet?
On Twitter, the city’s account managers are committing to the piece — and they’re using a lot of GIFs in the process.
But when asked by The Inquirer about the photos, a spokesperson admitted they weren’t a cheesesteak at all, but a loaded beef hoagie.
“[A] steak hoagie with the works (the order on the City of Philadelphia Twitter account) is not for everyone,” they said in an email. “But that’s the beauty of the cheesesteak – you can make it your own!”
When pressed about why they would post photos of a beef hoagie on National Cheesesteak Day other than race-baiting, a spokesperson did not immediately respond.