No one has thinner skin than CNN. How thin? It’s the same network that threatened to doxx a regular citizen for making a GIF of CNN getting body slammed by President Donald Trump, and made him promise to never do it again.
Trump’s love of poking CNN is one of the best parts about Trump’s presidency, mostly because the concept of humor is hard for the news organization to wrap its head around. As such, when it is made fun of, CNN will either completely ignore it to the best of its ability or it will respond in ways that just make you want to laugh even harder.
Trump’s latest jab at CNN featured a classic viral video changed up by his favorite meme maker, Carpe Donktum, that featured a white toddler and a black toddler playing together. In the original video, the two toddlers were so happy to see each other that they ran toward one another in their toddler way and hugged one another. The two began running around as toddlers do.
Donktum took a part of that video and added a CNN chyron that read “terrified toddler runs from racist baby.” Some tense music was added on top for good measure. The video ends with the full video shown of the happy toddlers playing together.
“America is not the problem, fake news is. If you see something say something. Only you can prevent fake news dumpster fires,” says a message at the end.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
The point Trump is making through Donktum is that the media skews stories, even happy ones. Sensationalism is the media’s greatest tool and every problem in our nation will be overblown by the media in order to make you watch. As I’ve explained in more detail, the media has a vested interest in doing this because it makes you watch and this results in more money for them. They are a business, nor a service.
(READ: Remember That the Media Is a Business With a Vested Interest in Disaster, Not a Service)
CNN’s communications department saw it and did the worst thing it could have done.
Completely oblivious to the nature of the video that was being made, CNN immediately mounted a defense by pointing to the article that covered that viral video and how they reported accurately on it.
“CNN did cover this story – exactly as it happened. Just as we reported your positions on race (and poll numbers). We’ll continue working with facts rather than tweeting fake videos that exploit innocent children. We invite you to do the same. Be better,” tweeted the same network whose host called white male Trump voters the largest terrorist threat to our nation.
CNN did cover this story – exactly as it happened. Just as we reported your positions on race (and poll numbers). We’ll continue working with facts rather than tweeting fake videos that exploit innocent children. We invite you to do the same. Be better. https://t.co/T1nBtejZta
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) June 19, 2020
Once again, a major news network doesn’t understand satire.
Trump’s point is a poignant one. The media is doing its level best to make sure that the tensions felt in this country are constantly at a maximum. Not only does it make for better ratings, but it also allows the ideological propagandists to push narratives that hurt the people they consider their opponents.
One Harvard researcher found that more death and destruction comes at the hands of media involvement in a story than anything else. Upon attempting to show the media this research, the media figures either ignored him or urged him to keep that research to himself.
(READ: Harvard Professor’s Research Shows Media Its Responsibility for Black Deaths and the Media Told Him to Be Silent)
The media is not your friend and will intentionally skew a story to bring the worst aspects of it into the spotlight. That was Donktum/Trump’s point, a point that CNN would rather you not focus on.