It took a dog meme to reveal the full extent of the mainstream media’s decay. The saga began yesterday, when The Daily Wire posted a joke on our social media accounts that depicted President Trump awarding a bronze paw print medal on a two-dimensional blue ribbon to the dog who chased down Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The caption read, “Please, @realDonaldTrump.”
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) October 29, 2019
The president apparently liked the joke and reposted it, tweeting, “AMERICAN HERO!”
AMERICAN HERO! pic.twitter.com/XCCa2sGfsZ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2019
The exchange offered a pleasant moment of levity. Even in an age as politically divided as ours, at least we can still come together and laugh at a picture of a goofy-looking dog to celebrate a military victory.
Or so we thought, until the mainstream media decided to take the picture seriously. “A WH official said ‘the dog is not at the WH,’” tweeted CNN’s Jim Acosta.
A WH official said "the dog is not at the WH." https://t.co/eJLqBMyKna
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 30, 2019
Voice of America’s Steve Herman rushed to fill the gaps in Acosta’s groundbreaking report. “I’ve requested details from the @WhiteHouse on this photo,” he tweeted. “There was no such canine event on today’s @POTUS schedule but there is a Medal of Honor ceremony set here for later today for an active duty Green Beret.”
USA Today also deemed the tweet newsworthy and described the meme as a “doctored image.” The New York Times assigned not one but two investigative reporters to cover the joke, which it described in its headline as a “faked photo.” Apple News users received a push notification using the same phrase.
“Fine, just the president of the United States disseminating a doctored image created by a right-wing propaganda site,” wrote S.V. Date of HuffPost, a left-wing propaganda site.
Fine, just the president of the United States disseminating a doctored image created by a right-wing propaganda site. pic.twitter.com/Ky26zdDaXe
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) October 30, 2019
Then The Washington Post published the pièce de résistance. “Trump tweeted a photo of a Medal of Honor recipient — who was edited out and replaced by Conan the dog,” read the headline.
The Post’s story marked the media’s third distinct attack of the day. The first round of reporting about the dog meme wondered if the image had been an act of deception — fake news from The Daily Wire. The next narrative suggested Trump had unwittingly spread an intentional joke. Neither attack gained traction beyond the widespread mockery of normal people stunned by the humorless press. So The Washington Post settled on the third and strongest charge: Trump had somehow disrespected the actual Medal of Honor recipient in the photograph by mashing up the image with the hero pup.
That attack too fell flat because the hero from the original photo found the dog meme funny. The Washington Post tried and failed to track down 73-year-old Medal of Honor recipient James McCloughlan, but the Times managed to reach him by phone. McCloughlan laughed, assured the reporters he did not take offense, and even applauded public recognition of the dog. “This recognized the dog is part of that team of brave people,” he explained. “They are very courageous.” So much for that angle.
Undeterred, the Post continued to insinuate wrongdoing on the part of the meme-makers. “Jeremy Boreing, the chief operating officer at The Daily Wire, dismissed emailed questions about whether the altered photo originated from his publication,” reported the Post.
In fact, Jeremy responded directly to reporter Alex Horton’s request that he confirm The Daily Wire had “digitally removed Medal of Honor recipient James McCloughan and replaced him with a dog.”
“Alex,” wrote the Daily Wire COO. “On the record: You’ve got to be f***ing joking. Please quote me on that.” The Post was not joking, and it did not publish Jeremy’s response.
So, WaPo asked my business partner, @jeremydboreing, about our Medal of Honor dog meme. His glorious response is screencapped below. Their report then suggested Jeremy refused to answer questions about the picture. Um, no. We just think you’re being f***ing insane. pic.twitter.com/pEyOH96hEr
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) October 31, 2019
The most dishonest headline of the day came from the Sun: “Donald Trump baffles internet with bizarre Photoshopped pic of him giving medal to hero dog ‘Conan.’”
Trump didn’t baffle the Internet. He didn’t baffle anyone — other than the mainstream press, which has become so consumed with hatred of the president and his supporters that it can’t recognize an obvious joke.
You can tell fanatics by their lack of a sense of humor, which requires a sense of proportion and reality. An image of a dog receiving a presidential medal is a funny joke. But it’s not as funny a joke as the fanatical leftists in the press who took it seriously.