Donald Trump ups ante against CNN with wrestling video, which CNN dubs ‘juvenile’

This was posted Sunday, July 2, 2017 by Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Donald Trump sure knows how to distract the media and excite his base, even on a Sunday morning, with his tweets. Recently, the president has been ratcheting up the heat on cable news networks and media outlets he doesn’t like. Today, he upped the ante by posting a doctored wrestling video where Trump is shown beating up a person with the CNN logo super-imposed over his face.

Unlike many stories nowadays, this one is being given equally heavy news coverage on the left (Huffington Post), the so-called “mainstream media” (The New York Times) and the right (Breitbart).

The Times figured out where Trump may have found the video:

A version of Mr. Trump’s video appeared last week on a Trump-dedicated page on the message board site Reddit, a popular meeting ground for some of the president’s most fervent supporters. The CNN logo is superimposed on what appears to be the head of Vince McMahon, a wrestling magnate and a friend of Mr. Trump, who in his prepresidential years often appeared as a guest on wrestling shows.

The video seems to be from his appearance on a 2007 WWE event.

Atlanta-based CNN has been a target of Trump for some time now, though he has ratcheted up the rhetoric since CNN retracted a story nine days ago regarding the Russian investigation.

CNN, which is used to covering the news, not being the news, was forced to release yet another statement. Today, the network called this “a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters.”

“Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, ‎dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill,” CNN added, “he is involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”

The Tweet came out just as the Sunday morning news shows were about to begin.

Trump’s homeland security adviser Tom Bossert, on ABC’s “This Week,” didn’t see the video as any real desire to hurt CNN or the media in a physical way.

“No one would perceive that as a threat,” Bossert said. “I hope they don’t.”

Media outlets criticized the Tweet’s violent overtones. The New York Times’ managing editor Dean Baquet: “I think it is unseemly that the president would attack journalists for doing their jobs, and encourage such anger at the media.”

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press noted: “We condemn the president’s threat of physical violence against journalists. This tweet is beneath the office of the presidency. Sadly, it is not beneath this president.”

CNN also Tweeted out a quote from last Thursday from White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders:  “The president in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary.”

Clearly, CNN noted, she “lied.”

Here is the original video:

And here’s a sample of Twitter reactions:


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