The drawing was supposed to fill in for a banned video camera. It was supposed to record what Donald Trump looked like at his arraignment.

But if you compare the drawing by veteran courtroom sketch artist Jane Rosenberg with the still photo of him at the same event, it’s plain to see she remarked on it, she didn’t report it.

Regardless, the New Yorker magazine used Rosenberg’s sketch for its weekly cover, praising that while editors often ask artists to reflect on an event, they “turned to a courtroom sketch artist, whose job is to depict what a scene looks like.”

Distinction with a big difference

One look at the still shot of the scene and Rosenberg’s take of the same scene tells you she sought “to reflect on the event,” rather than “depict what a scene looks like.”

As if explaining why her sketch looks editorialized, she told the New Yorker that her task “was my most stressful assignment yet.” Perhaps that accounts for her unawareness that her sketch comes off like an editorial cartoon.

Rosenberg also told the New Yorker that her drawing of Trump looked, as Eric Lach reported from the courtroom, “somber and alone.” But those states of mind are not what her drawing describes.

She didn’t capture a glum expression. She represents the ex-president facial expression as venomous, and vengeful. It’s as if she were remembering his threats of “death and destruction” if he were to be indicted. She conveyed the fury in his previous verbal threat rather than his demeanor in the courtroom.

Besides Eric Lach’s eyewitness report that Trump looked glum, Susan Glasser, another New Yorker reporter on the scene, saw the event as "somewhat underwhelming." Rosenberg’s sketch doesn’t fit that description, either.

“Inside Hook” magazine’s story about Rosenberg’s sketch of Trump in court also didn’t jibe: “Out of all the chaos surrounding the historic arraignment of Donald Trump, one single image ...what could be a defining image in the life of Donald Trump, and in the history of the country.”

The magazine goes on to tout Rosenberg’s courtroom sketching history, saying that she covered the Harvey Weinstein case and the Bill Cosby trial, and quotes her thinking like this:

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered

“My job as a courtroom artist is to try to remain neutral all the time.

I’m not trying to have an opinion in my work.” Yet, opinion is what you see.

I’m no champion of the twice-impeached former head of state. He has been vicious with his words. Rosenberg’s drawing of his face as raging and riled, convulsed with resentment is a fitting portrait.

But it veers from the truth in his court appearance.

That the artist doesn’t see that is not hard to understand. She admitted being under stress.

What’s the excuse of magazines praising her for a job well done when it wasn’t? Even the youngest of my seven grandchildren spotted the difference between Rosenberg’s drawing and the CBS still photo.