Journalists reacted in horror Sunday morning after President Trump tweeted a fake video that showed him body-slamming “fraud news” CNN in a fake wrestling match.
While many of the president’s supporters online reacted to the video with humor, the consensus among journalists seemed to be that Trump was inciting violence against the media.
“It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters,” CNN said in a statement responding to the tweet.
ABC News’ chief political analyst Matthew Dowd claimed Trump is “advocating violence against media” and demanded Republican leaders “put country over party” in response to the fake video of fake wrestling.
“Around the world, journalists are murdered with impunity on a regular basis,” Poynter managing editor Ben Mullin gravely stated. “This isn’t funny.”
CNN commentator Ana Navarro called the tweet “an incitement to violence” in an appearance on ABC News. “He is going to get somebody killed in the media,” she claimed.
New York Times reporter Alan Rappeport called the president’s tweet “A call for violence against the media.”
ABC News’ Martha Raddatz took the fake video seriously in an interview with Homeland Security adviser Thomas Bossert. “That seems like a threat,” Raddatz asserted. “No one would perceive that as a threat,” Bossert replied.
The Washington Post headlined its news coverage of the tweet, “Trump appears to promote violence against CNN with tweet.” WaPo reporter David Nakamura wrote: “A day after defending his use of social media as befitting a ‘modern day’ president, President Trump appeared to promote violence against CNN in a tweet.”
Atlantic editor David Frum similarly took the president’s tweet to mean that he was encouraging violence against the media.
New York Magazine writer Frank Rich called the president’s tweet “insanity” and “an attempt that might be successful to drum up violence against journalists.”