The media are falling over themselves trying to combat “fake news,” and in doing so, show how out of touch they are.
On Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted out a short video based on an October Time Magazine cover that showed Trump campaign signs with election dates well past 2020. In the video shared by the president, an extra campaign sign appears in the upper corner of the magazine and Trump stands above it. The dates continue to go up until the calculator error sign “EEEEEE” appears and is replaced by “TRUMP 4EVA.” You can see the video for yourself below.
It was a silly video and yet, anti-Trump journalists’ heads exploded, claiming the president made it clear in the dumb video that he intended to be a dictator and refuse to give up the presidency when his term is over, whether in January 2021 or in 2025. For example, New York Times reporter Kenneth Vogel tweeted:
FUNNY? The President of the United States just tweeted a video that envisions him remaining in the office for eternity in defiance of both human mortality & the 22nd amendment to the United States Constitution.
Several hours after Trump tweeted his video, TIME, apparently thinking Twitter users are too stupid to realize Trump’s video was a joke, responded to his tweet saying, “The animation you shared is a manipulated version of the Oct. 22, 2018, cover of TIME,” before offering “the real one.”
The media have not been able to come to grips with the fact that Trump and his followers are good at trolling. They are so interested in throwing the “fake news” claim back against Trump (a term they first started using, by the way) that they have begun fact checking silly videos.
This isn’t the first time media has overreacted to a video, though at least, so far, they haven’t doxed the person who made this animation for Trump.
Earlier this month, after a slowed-down video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that made her look drunk made the social media rounds, The Daily Beast took it upon themselves to not only name the private citizen who made the video, but point out his criminal history.
Not only did the Beast out this person, but Facebook willingly and immediately gave up his private user information.
And we can’t forget the time CNN outed the random Reddit user who made a gif that depicted Trump punching the CNN logo. After airing the random user’s dirty laundry and threatening to name him if he ever made another gif CNN didn’t like, it turned out he wasn’t even the one who made the gif that Trump tweeted.