Is this eight-dimensional chess or did they really think CNN was going to run an ad asking its own viewers to treat unflattering coverage of the White House as “fake news”?
For once, I think it might be eight-dimensional chess. Well, three-dimensional.
In response to the Donald J. Trump for President campaign’s accusations of ad censorship: pic.twitter.com/0Rbanpf0dn
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) May 2, 2017
The executive director of Trump’s campaign organization took the news like a champ:
“This is censorship pure and simple,” Executive Director Michael Glassner said in a statement. ”By rejecting our ad, CNN has proven that it supports censorship is biased and fears an opposing point of view.
“President Trump’s loyal supporters know the truth: The mainstream media mislead, misguide, deceive, and distract,” he added.
The news release on the campaign website about CNN’s decision is headlined, “FAKE NEWS STATION REFUSES TO RUN AD HIGHLIGHTING THE PRESIDENT’S FIRST 100 DAYS.”
They needed a way to get people to pay attention to the ad amid the cacophony of other political blather Americans have to sift through daily so they employed Trump’s favorite tactic, picking a fight with the media. And CNN, bless their hearts, took the bait for their own selfish reasons. CNN’s trying to cultivate an image as the lone “unbiased” hard-news truthteller on cable TV in the age of Trump, stuck between knee-jerk oppositional MSNBC and “state-run TV” Fox News, as CNN President Jeff Zucker described it recently. That’s why CNN seems to irk Trump fans more than MSNBC does. Rachel Maddow is annoying but makes no bones about her sympathies; it’s the Jake Tappers and Jim Sciuttos and Wolf Blitzers who purport to give you just the facts while lecturing Trump that are supposedly more subversive.
So yeah, naturally CNN is going to burnish its brand by flipping Trump the bird for his “fake news” dig here and just as naturally Trump is going to flip it right back because his supporters love when he does. The ad, CNN’s reaction, and Team Trump’s hysterical reply (“censorship”?) together are a perfect microcosm of the wider symbiotic Trump/media kabuki. Wouldn’t surprise me if Trump dialed up Zucker and they laughed their way through the whole “controversy.”