THE TRUMP EFFECT: THE TRUMP/CNN WAR
LATEST MEDIA SKIRMISH UPS THE ANTE? OR JUST WHITE HOUSE FUN?
LOL! “The Trump Effect: The Trump/CNN War.” How is it possible to write such a headline given that we are talking about cyber warfare being conducted by the President of the United States against one of America’s largest cable news network? Really? This is happening in America? Say what you will about CNN’s biases, no President of the United States should be involved in some public personal dispute with a legitimate news organization. (Although I’m willing to bet my entire 401(k) that CNN founder and former hubby of “radical leftist traitor" Jane Fonda and current star of Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie” – and aren’t these two just about the most dichotomous descriptions one could imagine? – Ted Turner is not only proud of his baby news network but laughing his ass off too!) Sure, Jack Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson were often critical of the nation’s news providers but they didn’t make themselves abject fools over it like Trump does.
Although Trump’s war on the “Fake News Media,” as he calls it, goes back to the Presidential campaign, CNN has been his top target in his attacks on “the enemy of the people.” as he calls MSNBC, NPR, CNN, and the rest of the evil, biased cable news networks. It was back during the campaign that Trump threatened to remove CNN news reader Jim Acosta for asking a question and Trump has kept up his animus towards Acosta since then. CNN seems to have earned the bulk of Trump’s Fake News press bullying reporter animus for some reason maybe because several of CNN’s folks have called Trump an outright “liar” which not all that many news organizations have.
But the current kerfuffle? Well, like Healthcare, it’s complicated so bear with me as I try to reconstruct the whole tragic incident from the beginning. Seems as if some Reddit user posted a 28 second video created by someone else that showed Trump attacking a man with the CNN logo over his head in a wrestling match Trump actually tweeted the video last Sunday morning which, natch, caused the number of internet views explode to some 33 million. The Reddit user’s posts, as identified by other Reddit users, were replete with created memes that were full of racist and anti-Semitic rants. (Anyone surprised?) On Monday, CNN tracked down the Reddit user who originally posted the video – the racist, anti-Semitic Trump supporter (Anyone surprised?) – who quickly deleted the post and apologized in a Trump Reddit account. CNN declined to identity the user but did say that they reserved the right to publish his identity if he continued to create offensive content. This, natch, put the right wingers into a boiling rage since they saw it as CNN intimidation and a threat. (Never mind that Trump has threatened the nation’s free press, how many times?) Take a look at #CNNBlackmail if you’d like to get the flavor of this pushback but you don’t really need to. It’s all very predictable.
So this, as far as I can tell, is the murky pathway to Trump’s current focus of attention as North Korea fires another ICBM and he visits Poland. Now, I suppose we can dispense with the criticism of un-Presidential behavior by Trump since un-Presidential behavior – like “shaking things up” and “draining the swamp” - are hallmarks of the Trump Presidency and what his voters voted him into office for. I’m not positive why it is that Trump heaps the bulk of his disdain for the press on CNN since I find their Pundit Panels where both sides speak in talking spin points past each other and us viewers too, except for one not all that well-known fact. You see, the current President of CNN, Jeffery Zucker, was the guy at was formerly at NBC who produced “The Apprentice” and hired The Donald. So in the scheme of all things Trump, Zucker is now a traitor to the Trump cause for all the criticism he has received from CNN. See how this works in the Trump Presidency?
Me? I have no idea why the unidentified Redditt guy who originally posted the video both removed it and apologized for it. I am not all that down with the current “say or do something offensive or vile” and then apologize for it, like Kathy Griffin and Bill Maher have done recently. There is nothing that I write that I would apologize for except for factual errors. My opinions are my own and I stand fully behind them. Now, sure, I’m not a television star and, therefore, I do not risk my livelihood so there is this difference. I get it. But Republicans and right wingers don’t apologize. Ever. I’m still waiting for Paul Ryan’s apology for crafting an Obamacare replacement that will cause – what’s the latest estimate? – 225,000 deaths. Yeah.
But back to the current Trump/CNN war. Needless to say, the right wingers leaped all over CNN for “threatening” the anonymous Redditt poster. This is to be expected. This is what they do, latch onto some perceived “error” by the media, by liberals, by Democrats and run with it until it becomes a national story. We’ve seen this countless times. You only need to think of Hillary Clinton’s alleged murder of Vince Foster to tell you how effective they are. Or the Pizzagate/child pornography meme that still exists on Facebook. Or the Benghazi and IRS hearings.
If it wasn’t for Trump’s “personality” or his position as President of the United States of America for six months now, we could all just dismiss the latest Trump/CNN warfare as a joke, a passing Trump Twitter storm that has no impacts anywhere. Problem is, Trump sees no downside to his behavior and neither do his supporters. But Europe does. Several European nations, including Germany, have expressed dismay at his often contradictory and often incomprehensible foreign policy (NATO irrelevance, Trade wars) and have expressed concern that the U.S. is no longer a reliable ally. Trump has even been at odds with his own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Domestically, Trump has proclaimed his solidarity with ordinary Americans (Best, cheapest Healthcare ever; millions of good paying jobs) while proposing and enacting through numerous Executive Orders exactly the opposite policies than he promised during his campaign. This is not "behavior" in it's strictest sense. It is basically a lack of any core beliefs and values to guide decision making. You've heard the term "transactional" applied to Trump's personal and professional actions. What this means is that every situation he faces has no history, is not rooted in a set of core beliefs and has no connection to any other situation but is only a single, isolated action (transaction) that he unilaterally and without reference makes with no eye to any other action (transaction).
We have a President who claims to be the first computer/Twitter/online savvy President but in reality we have a President who, as Hillary Clinton proclaimed, is unqualified, unprepared and lacks the experience to hold the Office of the President of the United States. It’s not the fact that he tweets. It’s the bizarre, petty, petulant, cruel, and sometimes incomprehensible content of his tweets that are the problem. They expose a man who simply is not Presidential material. End of story.
Note that the head of the Department of Homeland Security defends Trump but does not address Trump's attacks on the media. This is so typical of the "Trump Can Do No Wrong" memes we hear constantly while ignoring the truly egregious actions of Trump.
Have a Great Day!