CNN on Trump’s wrestling tweet: He’s encouraging violence against journalists
Meh, it’s a dopey metaphor, part of Trump’s even dopier “modern day presidential” Twitter habit. The “violence” comes from a WWE event and is itself therefore fake, befitting Trump’s “feud” with the media. But you can’t get too indignant about him being accused of incitement when he’s being non-frivolously sued for incitement by people who got beat up at his campaign rallies. Even if he’s just goofing here, which I think he is, stuff like this guarantees that if one of his fans eventually takes a swing at a reporter, Trump will be torched for it endlessly. But then, per the incitement lawsuit, he was going to be torched for it anyway, GIF or no GIF.
Needless to say, Obama posting something like this about Fox News would have caused actual aneurysms among some conservatives.
It may be the single least presidential thing he’s done while in office, at least until he calls a press conference to say “Here’s what I think of CNN” and then farts into the mic. Not “unless.” Until.
Individual CNNers were also alarmed:
Media-wise, it looks like “Health-Care Week” is going to be “CNN Gets Clotheslined Week” instead. (Which maybe isn’t a bad thing for Mitch McConnell given how the Senate bill is polling.) And it is a clothesline, by the way, or possibly a lariat. It’s distressing that the media continues to refer to what happens in the GIF as a “body slam,” betraying its shocking ignorance of basic wrestling moves. FAKE NEWS!
The Atlantic wants Trump banned from Twitter for supposedly violating its terms of service covering violent threats, harassment, and “hateful conduct,” which is a bit like asking the Angels to release Mike Trout. When there’s only one compelling reason to pay attention to a mediocre organization, they’re going to cling to that reason as long as they can afford to. Frankly, maybe it’s best for everyone that Twitter continues to let him slide: He doesn’t seem all that stable as it is and taking away his favorite toy is likely to compound the problem. The best-case scenario is that he starts doing video rants on Instagram instead. Worst-case: Korean War II.
Some White House advisers said they were frustrated that the Brzezinski feud — which continued to unfurl throughout the day Friday with accusations and counteraccusations — overtook the president’s fight with CNN, which seemed in their eyes to have clearer villains and heroes.
His agenda is frozen because of Democratic obstruction and Republican infighting. Even if McConnell can get a heath-care bill through, it’s a cinch that more than half the public will oppose it. What’s left to do except entertain his fans with reality-show feuds? As long as he’s pissing off the right people (“Media Freakout,” reads Drudge’s headline about the wrestling tweet), Republicans will let him slide on not getting much done.
Here’s the whole administration in a nutshell: Tom Bossert, an expert on counterterrorism and a top advisor to Trump, forced to react in real time this morning to the tweet and, of course, to spin it positively. Exit question: Who really posted this to Trump’s account? The GIF apparently came from Reddit, which Trump is unlikely to be reading regularly. (I think.) It’s got to be Dan Scavino, right?