Donald Trump literally slammed CNN in a tweet featuring the network’s logo superimposed over a wrestling video. CNN accused Trump of inciting violence against the media. The original video was posted on a pro-Trump message board by the Reddit user Hanassholesolo, who by his own admission has made racist, bigoted, and anti-Semitic posts intended to troll his victims. He has since apologized for the post blaming it on an addiction to trolling. Ironically, CNN has inspired real threats of violence for threatening to out his identity, also known as doxxing, if he trolls them again.
Trumpenstein, or the Modern President
Trump fired back at criticism the tweet was less than presidential.
“My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!” he tweeted.
Trump wants others to see him as a Macho Man but he clearly sees himself as the misunderstood monster in Frankenstein. He sees reporters with microphones like villagers chasing him with torches. When confronted by something he doesn’t like, he cries out monosyllabic words: “Fake news bad!”
Troll me once…
The trolling was encouraged by CNN feeding the troll only days before. The network tweeted a bar graph showing the President has tweeted more about fake news than jobs or the military. Think about that. They’re analyzing the percentage of trolling!
This bully has gone so far as to ask CNN to put a kick me sign on itself. A commercial touting the accomplishments of Trump’s first 100 days in office blames “fake news” like CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer for not reporting on his successes. The Trump administration accused the network of censorship when it predictably declined to air the slanderous ad.
“It is absolutely shameful to see the media blocking the positive message that President Trump is trying to share with the country. It’s clear that CNN is trying to silence our voice and censor our free speech because it doesn’t fit their narrative,” claimed Michael Glassner, executive director for the campaign.
“Freedom of speech is a hallmark of our nation’s founding, and it is concerning that CNN, who I assume to be a strong supporter of the First Amendment, would stifle speech that they disagree with,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said. “CNN should allow the ad to be aired and apologize for their attempt to block the President’s message.”
CNN isn’t without blame. It’s like William Shatner screaming about a gremlin on the airplane in the Twilight Zone episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” The more dramatic they get, the more people likely people are to dismiss their concerns as the rantings of a madman.
Republican congressman Scott Taylor said as much when asked to condemn the tweet by New Day co-host Alisyn Camerota.
“If I could give some objective advice to you,” Taylor responded. “I think you guys are getting played, man. I think every time he does this, you guys overreact. And when I say ‘you guys,’ I mean the media in general. You overreact and you play right into his hands.”
Fake News = Real Ratings
It’s possible that CNN is trolling Trump. The network’s incessant coverage of the President includes a Trump twitter tracker. And a CNN promo touts its investigative journalism aimed at the White House. “Now more than ever, our mission is clear,” declares the attack piece. Can you imagine what CNN would have said if Fox News aired a promo explicitly stating it was after Barack Obama.
Their overzealousness came back to bite them. CNN fired three of its staff for reporting a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials,” based on single anonymous source.
“Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!” Trump tweeted in response to the revelation.
“CNN just posted it’s most-watched second quarter in history. Those are the facts,” the network replied.
CNN consistently gets ratings below Fox News and MSNBC. However, the tweet makes no reference to other networks. It implies that CNN is losing viewers but it’s quite the contrary. PolitiFact rated Trump’s statement as “Pants on Fire.”
The ratings spike began in 2015 but really took off in 2016, which just so happens to coincide with a spike in Trump coverage. In fact, Trump took credit for record ratings during the debates.
“I won’t take credit for it but, believe me, a hundred percent it’s me,” he humble bragged at a campaign rally.
CNN actually eked out a win over Fox News in coverage of FBI Director James Comey’s hearing before congress. And they did more than double the coveted 18-49 rating. CNN’s demographic skews younger, which means proportionally more ad revenue.
Only 33% of CNN viewers trust the news according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. In fairness, Fox News didn’t do much better with just 50% confidence. That would suggest there’s a lot of hate-watching going on.
We’ve gone from the Twilight Zone to the Outer Limits:
There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now in control of the transmission. We control the
horizontalLeft and the verticalRight. We can deluge you with a thousands channels, or expand one single image to crystal clarity and beyond. We can shape your vision to anything our imagination can conceive. For the next hourfour years, we will control all that you see and hear.