It’s often said that Donald Trump would do a different kind of Presidency and now we have proof. Despite the controversies of the past few days, Trump clearly sees his role as rabble-rouser and instigator in chief — and has now put out a fantasy video of him beating up a figure that represents CNN. It’s from his old pre-President wrestling days.
After it sparked a firestorm on Twitter, and the White House did its predictable damage control saying, no, this wasn’t a threat from a President who has demonized the press almost daily and now put up a video of his ostensibly beating up a reporter and the tweet was then deleted.
But it’s messages were delivered:
1) Trump if he had his way would beat up a reporter or reporters.
2) Reporters and journalists deserve being beaten up rather than always opting to answer them or use facts to remove negative reporting of insinuations.
3) Trump continues to prove that he is a disgrace to the serious and ONCE majestic office he fills. Every time he places his ever-expanding fanny down on his Oval Office chair he defiles the office’s physical office, the office he holds — and dishonors all of the 44 men who occupied it before him. And, yes, that includes Richard Nixon who actually articulated and implemented serious policy ideas and who reached across the aisle to get some things done. Trump remains President for His Base, of His base and by His Base and shows no signs of wanting to reach out (unless it’s for a Big Mac).
4) Trump will continue to be said to ignore norms. What this really means is that he’s thumbing his nose — or, perhaps more accurately giving half a peace sign — to our conventions of civility in public discourse, Presidential behavior, a President’s role in trying to unite the country and reach out after an election rather than reliving and perpetuating a campaign that is over, the kind of language used in political debate, the use of unfettered name calling in politics… and more. This book should still be read.
“It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters,” a CNN spokesperson told The Hill. “Clearly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the president had never done so. Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, ?dealing with North Korea and working on his healthcare bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”
Here’s the short video that has since come down.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
UPDATE: The pattern of White House officials continues. They downplay something Trump has done, said or is accused of doing. They say “no one” or “nobody” would such and such. It’s not spin, really, it’s outright propaganda. And here you go:
President Trump’s homeland security adviser defended the president’s tweet Sunday morning showing him body-slamming and punching a person signifying CNN, saying “no one would perceive that as a threat.”
Trump is “the most genuine president and the most nonpolitician president we’ve seen in my lifetime,” Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert told ABC News’ “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday.
Raddatz asked if the tweet is “the kind of communication you want … That seems like a threat,” she added.
“Certainly not, though I think that no one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don’t. I do think that [Trump is] beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to,” Bossert replied.
The tweet included a GIF of a 2007 WWE incident where Trump body-slammed and repeatedly punched WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. The GIF that Trump tweeted superimposed the CNN logo on McMahon’s head.
Cartoonish in quality, the video is an unorthodox way for a sitting president to express himself. But Mr. Trump has ratcheted up his attacks on the news media in recent days — taking aim at CNN, in particular — while defending his use of social media. In a speech on Saturday, he said: “The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House. But I’m president, and they’re not.”
The video, which was also posted to the official @POTUS Twitter account, was met with a mix of criticism, disbelief and dumbfoundedness. Some journalists denounced its portrayal of violence as dangerous, saying it could incite attacks or threats against news media employees.
SOME TWITTER REACTION:
— The Hill (@thehill) July 2, 2017
10: That crazy Trump tweet should frighten you. He's mentally unstable. Best way to resist? You know the answer. /end
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) July 2, 2017
— David Beard (@dabeard) July 2, 2017
When it's beyond parody and travels way past lunacy, we should hope for congressional action. https://t.co/XybRIz3duq
— Mark Hertling (@MarkHertling) July 2, 2017
The President of the United States is using Twitter today to incite violence against the free press https://t.co/BannCKs7qc
— ramaxe (@ramaxe1965) July 2, 2017
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 2, 2017
"What the hell do I have to do to get impeached around here?"https://t.co/xx0Zs9QLjK
— John Schindler (@20committee) July 2, 2017
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@Deanofcomedy) July 2, 2017
Wow. This is sick. This is disturbing. This is pathological. This is violent. This is reckless. This is authoritarian. https://t.co/KnD7FTPrn1
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) July 2, 2017
What. In. The. Actual. Shit. Is. Wrong. With. This. Man. https://t.co/ihhjjJv9sq
— Angry WH Staffer (@AngrierWHStaff) July 2, 2017
The person who who sits in the office once occupied by Lincoln, Roosevelt, et. al. is fantasizing on Twitter about beating up a TV network.
— J.D. Rhoades (@JD_Rhoades) July 2, 2017
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 2, 2017
“Donald Trump was a total joke” is probably the best case outcome for this presidency https://t.co/jw4uZ4Sk0W
— David Frum (@davidfrum) July 2, 2017
The speed with which we're recapitulating the decline and fall of Rome is impressive. What took Rome centuries we're achieving in months. https://t.co/4TVXc4C5Ex
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 2, 2017
Here is one of the problems. Trump cult members. https://t.co/hGYPrjfcQZ
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) July 2, 2017
— The Hill (@thehill) July 2, 2017
— Dr. DaShanne Stokes (@DaShanneStokes) July 2, 2017
— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) July 2, 2017
— The Hill (@thehill) July 2, 2017
Not okay for Julius Caesar to be killed while looking like Trump but okay for Trump to play like he's knocked out a journalist. Huh.
— Julie Leto (@JulieLeto) July 2, 2017
Trump vs. CNN is pure kabuki until someone gets murdered.
— William K. Wolfrum (@Wolfrum) July 2, 2017
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.