News and Commentary

SHAPIRO: The Media Investigates Conan’s ‘Medal Of Pawner’ Award
DOD Photo. The military working dog who sustained minor injuries during the raid has returned to duty.
Photo by Department of Defense via Getty Images

On Thursday’s episode of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” Shapiro talks about the media’s outrageous reaction to President Donald Trump tweeting a Daily Wire meme about Conan, the dog that sustained minor injuries while hunting down Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Video and partial transcript below: 

So The Daily Wire social media team, who listen to the show and then very often create memes that are often kind of drawn from the general themes of the show, they put out a meme, and the meme was a picture of President Trump awarding the “Medal of Pawner” to [Conan the Hero] dog. 

[Our team found] a picture of President Trump awarding a Medal of Honor to an American hero named James McCloughan, who is credited with saving the lives of 10 men in a battle in Vietnam, and this photo had nothing to do with McCloughan. The last thing that The Daily Wire would ever think of doing is deriding an actual war hero, of course, and nobody actually thinks that’s what the Daily Wire social media team was doing with Are they really suggesting that this was meant to dishonor the person who was at the center of the photo? No. The Daily Wire social media team took this photo and they just put in the dog. They obviously photoshopped in the dog. 

So it’s President Trump putting not the Medal of Honor, it’s a medal that has a picture of a paw print on it, on the dog, obviously photoshopped. It has our watermark in the bottom right hand corner of the picture, nobody’s trying to hide the ball here. This is just a cute little tribute to a very good doggy. That’s all. It’s a joke and a cute little tribute to a very good doggy. 

So President Trump sees this, and he thinks it’s cute because one of the charming things about Trump, and there are many things that are not charming about Trump, one of the wonderful, charming things about Trump is that when the man sees something that he enjoys, he sort of puts it out there. So he put out our picture with the watermark in the right hand corner of himself giving the “Medal of Pawner” to the dog … [And] President Trump then tweets out, “AMERICAN HERO!”

Now, this should be the end of the story. It’s just like a cute, funny little tweet. But no, our intrepid media are on the case. The Washington Post, and The New York Times, and USA Today and pretty much everybody else covers this as though it’s actual news and that it’s a scandal not just that President Trump tweeted out a meme, but that it’s a real scandal … .

This story from Alex Horton, reporter at The Washington Post. Here’s a first note: Alex Horton apparently is an Iraq war veteran. Nothing but respect for his military service. Also, this is insanely bad reporting. So two things can be true at once: Alex Horton can be an American patriot who served honorably in Iraq;  also, he can be an unbelievably crappy reporter. So here is his report from The Washington Post. The headline says, “Trump tweeted a photo of a Medal of Honor recipient who was edited it out and replaced by Conan the dog”

Then it says:

In a somber White House ceremony in July 2017, President Trump draped the Medal of Honor around the neck of James McCloughan. He was credited with saving the lives of 10 men in a brutal, days-long battle in Vietnam, and Trump told the former Army medic that “we are in all of your actions and your bravery.

On Wednesday, Trump posted a photo of that moment with McCloughan’s image replaced by that of a dog.

The distinctive star of metal was replaced with a paw print.

Trump and the Pentagon initially declined to release the dog’s name, later confirmed as Conan, but the canine has since become a social media sensation after Trump tweeted a photo of the dog on Monday.

Since then, the dog has been a feature of countless memes.

Conan also collided with a real-world moment after the conservative site Daily Wire tweeted the image Tuesday with McCloughan removed. A watermark of the site appears in Trump’s tweet, but it is cropped version that removed the attribution of the source photo, which is the Associated Press.

That’s because the source photo has now been dramatically altered. The source photo did not include a dog or a Medal of Pawner, you idiots. It’s called a meme. This is how memes work on the interwebs.

That would have indicated it began as a legitimate news photo, raising the question of whether Trump or a staffer knew McCloughan had been edited out.

Okay, so I’m pretty fairly certain that Trump knew he had not actually awarded the “Medal of Pawner” to a dog. I’m fairly certain that Trump knew this. Now, even if you thought that Trump may have forgotten that he awarded the Medal of Honor to a dog, I feel like he would have known that it wasn’t real once he looked and saw it was a Medal of Pawner. It’s a paw on the medal … Then this is the best part: 

Jeremy Boreing, the chief operating officer at the Daily Wire, dismissed emailed questions about whether the altered photo originated from his publication.

Okay, this is the part that’s totally insane. So, Jeremy, who is my longtime business partner and chief operating officer at Daily Wire co-founder of Daily Wire. Listen to that sentence again: “dismissed emailed questions about whether the altered photo originated from his publication.”

First of all, number one, our watermark’s on it. It’s like, right there in Trump’s original tweet, but the way that’s reported, sounds like Boreing dismissed questions like he wouldn’t, we refused. We at The Daily Wire, we were so scared of the question, we refused to answer the question as to whether the altered photo originated from our publication. We just refused, because this a scoop, guys. Here’s how the actual exchange went: 

Alex Horton e-mailed our social media team. He said:

Hello, I’m with The Washington Post, and I wanted to get confirmation this photo originated with you, and if it did, that you digitally removed Medal of Honor recipient James McCloughan and replaced him with a dog.

Jeremy responded the way that any normal human being could respond, it is a pretty epic response. He wrote back:

Alex, on the record, you’ve got to be f***ing joking. Please quote me on that. Thanks, Jeremy.

We jokingly call Jeremy the “god-king,” but he definitely was great there. That’s spectacular stuff from Jeremy …

Then, it was reported by The Washington Post as Jeremy “dismissed emailed questions” about What? No, he didn’t dismiss emailed questions. He dismissed your stupid question, he dismissed you. Like, there’s no way to read that as Jeremy saying, “You know, we have no comment.” We issue “no comments” here all the time here at The Daily Wire. It’s a thing that everybody does in the media, that happens. If we wanted to “no comment,” you know what we could’ve done? “No comment.”

Listen to full episodes of “The Ben Shapiro Show” on iTunes. 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  SHAPIRO: The Media Investigates Conan’s ‘Medal Of Pawner’ Award