CNN: ‘Dangerous’ ‘Fascist’ Trump Threatening Our Lives With His WWE Tweet

If there were two things President Trump knew how to do well, it’s tweet and get under the skin of the folks at CNN. Well, he did both on Sunday, when he tweeted a rather juvenile clip of a fight he had with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon a long time ago, with the CNN logo placed over McMahon’s face.

As would be expected, CNN’s ridiculous figure Brian Stelter lost his mind on Reliable Sources later that morning as he and his stacked liberal panel decried the tweet as fascist, a grave danger, and a threat to the people that work at CNN.

The early reactions in the last 90 minutes have ranged from this is juvenile, ridiculous, idiotic, or wait no it's just funny. He's just having fun. Wait, no it's actually scary, dangerous,” Stelter declared as the championed CNN’s response to the tweet:

‘It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters. 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 the health care bill, he is involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office.’ The statement from CNN ends by saying: ‘We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.’

He then berated Trump for preferring to stick with news organizations that treated him well and wouldn’t pose much of a challenge. Which was the same thing former President Barack Obama did along with trying to eliminate Fox News from the White House press pool. So far, the only thing the White House has done to CNN in that regard was refuse to take their questions from time to time.

Stelter took his analysis to where it often goes when he talks about the President: Comparing him to murderous dictators:

Is this President trying to impersonate Hugo Chavez? Recep Tayyip Erdogan? Vladimir Putin? Because this is exactly the kind of language that leaders use when they're trying to undermine the press. Of course, the American press is much more free than reporters in places like Russia and Turkey and Venezuela.

Towards the end of the show, Stelter raised questions about if Trump was even allowed to post the video, saying it could violate Twitter's terms of service because it promoted violence against CNN. 

The first panelist to speak was Carl Bernstein, who claimed that the tweet was a sign that Trump had real and serious mental problems. He also asserted that military leaders were openly concerned about them. “I think it also goes to the question that many military leaders in this questions raised by military leaders in this country now,” he smeared. “By the intelligence community. By people in Congress, about the stability of the President of the United States. This is an index of his state of mind, visually.

The Baltimore Sun’s media critic, David Zurawik denounced the idea that Trump could just be having fun with his feud with CNN as dangerous. “You can kill somebody in seven seconds. That's part of the problem with social media, is people don't think about what they say,” he spat. “And they put out hateful, nasty stuff like this.

Zurawik took his criticism to a very dark place when he claimed the tweet was akin to the tactics of Nazi Germany. “Look, you take somebody and slam them physically to the ground, you put a logo on identifying them. That’s what fascists did in the 30’s to people,” he chided.

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Conservative radio host Ben Ferguson was one of the few voices of reason on the panel despite his camera feed having “technical difficulties.” He told them how he kind of laughed when he first saw the video and added that, “I don't think it incites violence. I think you people are stretching when they imply that. Wrestling is fake. Everybody knows that wrestling is fake.” But before Ferguson could finish speaking, Stelter cut him off and chastised him for not taking Trump’s threat seriously.

You get hate mail that sometimes threatens your life. And that's what's happening to folks at CNN right now,” Stelter reminding Ferguson. “I've seen some of the trash that's coming to people's inboxes. How can we look at this video and not think that it's actually going to cause even more of those threats more of that hate to fester out there?

Ferguson called out elements in the liberal media for blowing up stories about Trump into massive heinous acts. “He's trying to make it abundantly clear that there are people in the media who have made it their personal mission and their job to destroy this President,” he noted. “Who's turning it into a bigger story, Ben? This is what the President of the United States decided to post today,” Stelter un-ironically spat, as he interrupted his conservative guest again.

“You're playing into the exact point that I'm making here and the point that I'm making is, you’re over-- I think everyone's trying to over make this into too big of a deal, over aggregate this,” Ferguson stated, shooting down his host’s hysteria. Even media ethicist Kelly McBride of The Poynter Institute argued to Stelter that he was spending way too much time on the tweet when they should be talking about policy.

Ben Ferguson was 100 percent correct. Was the tweet crass and unpresidential? Yes. But was it an all-out assault on journalists, the First Amendment, or a call to arms to physically attack CNN? Not even close. And to compare the President to murderous dictators was ridiculous, irresponsible and proved Ferguson’s point that there are people out there with the desire to tear Trump down. That unbridled hyperbole is why the mainstream media has zero credibility these days.

Stelter & Co.'s ridiculousness was sponsored by: Red Lobster, Orkin, Humira, and Kia.

Transcript below:

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CNN
Reliable Sources
July 2, 2017
11:00:47 AM Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: But on Twitter he's wrestling with -- us. Look at this video from his Twitter account this morning. This is a WWE wrestle mania video from years ago when Trump used to show up at WWF/WWE events. You can see that the CNN logo has been superimposed onto the other fighter's face. Now, this showed up on a Reddit message board days ago. Now it's showing up on the president of the United States' own Twitter feed.

The early reactions in the last 90 minutes have ranged from this is juvenile, ridiculous, idiotic, or wait no it's just funny. He's just having fun. Wait, no it's actually scary, dangerous. We've heard a wide range of reactions to this. And we have a panel standing by. But first CNN's response.

The strongest statement I've seen from CNN or any news outlet this year in response to the President's attacks. Quote: “It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters. Cleary 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 North Korea, and working on the health care bill he is involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office.” The statement from CNN ends by saying: “We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”

(…)

STELTER: The President's strategy, let's think about this, he's trying to build up news outlets that promote him while trying to tear down outlets that dare to challenge him. He is promoting his friends in the media, talking with friendly interviewers who won't ask him tough questions while he's demeaning voices who criticize him.

(…)

STELTER: Is this President trying to impersonate Hugo Chavez? Recep Tayyip Erdogan? Vladimir Putin? Because, this is exactly the kind of language that leaders use when they're trying to undermine the press. Of course, the American press is much more free than reporters in places like Russia and Turkey and Venezuela.

(…)

CARL BERNSTEIN: First it's not just anti-CNN. It's anti-freedom of the press. It's anti-freedom of speech. It is a definitive statement by the President of the United States. I think it also goes to the question that many military leaders in this questions raised by military leaders in this country now. By the intelligence community. By people in congress, about the stability of the President of the United States. This is an index of his state of mind, visually.

It's very disturbing. There's nothing like light hearted about it whatsoever. It is an incitement. It is definitive, as I say, in the way this president views a free press and its exercise under the first amendment to the constitution. And let me add one thing here about Hillary Clinton and our coverage of Hillary Clinton and her server, that Donald Trump and his people thought at the time was an example of great news by the same news institutions that he is now calling fake news. When it suits him, it's great news. When it doesn't, it's fake news. And the nexus of fake news in America is the Trump White House.

STELTER: I'm glad we have an hour because we're going to unpack everything you just said.

(…)

STELTER: So, Ben I'm curious from your perspective do you have a message for the President about sharing a video like this?

BEN FERGUSON: Look, I think we got to put it in perspective. This has been going around on Twitter. I think when I saw it, I eventually laughed at it because I thought it was actually one of the more humorous moments of the real fighting back and forth that the President has had with the media. I don't think it incites violence. I think you people are stretching when they imply that. Wrestling is fake. Everybody knows that wrestling is fake. This was something that you just need to have just an ounce of humor, and just kind of look at this and say, “This may actually be a little bit of a funny moment for this. You could look at it and say it's clever –

STELTER [Interrupting Ferguson]: Okay, you can look at it and say it’s clever. You can say wrestling is fake. Security threats are real. And Ben you suffer from this just like the rest of us do. You get hate mail that sometimes threatens your life. And that's what's happening to folks at CNN right now. I've seen some of the trash that's coming to people's inboxes. How can we look at this video and not think that it's actually going to cause even more of those threats more of that hate to fester out there?

FERGUSON: Look, I think you obviously have reached a intense moment between the President, and the media, where he feels like there are people out there in the media that they're entire day is surrounded by trying to go after the President, and turning stories into bigger news than maybe it really is. And that's one of the things that we saw this last week that he's trying to capitalize on. He's trying to make it abundantly clear that there are people in the media who have made it their personal mission and their job to destroy this President. And when you look at something like that he just tweeted out, and we try to turn this in to a bigger story, as if he's inciting violence, which is just not the reality –

STELTER [Interrupting Ferguson again]: Who's turning it into a bigger story, Ben? This is what the President of the United States decided to post today. He could have posted about health care. He could have responded to citizen’s concerns—

FERGUSON: You're playing into the exact point that I'm making here and the point that I'm making is, you’re over-- I think everyone's trying to over make this into too big of a deal, over aggregate this. It took me three seconds to retweet that tweet earlier saying we're going to talk about this this morning. I’m sure the President saw it and thought it was pretty funny and said I'm going to retweet this. It took him seven seconds. It didn't take him 72 hours or 24 hours.

(…)

STELTER: What he does for seven seconds can hurt people.

(…)

DAVID ZURAWIK: Well, look, first I want to say I couldn't disagree more with Ben. And I think the dangerous thing is to say: “Oh, have a sense of humor, let's just laugh at it.” You can kill somebody in seven seconds. That's part of the problem with social media. Is people don't think about what they say. And they put out hateful, nasty stuff like this.

(…)

ZURAWIK: And it is a disturbing look at the man running the country. Look, you take somebody and slam them physically to the ground, you put a logo on identifying them. That’s what fascists did in the 30’s to people. This is not something, Ben, that you laugh about say: “Oh ho ho ho. It’s only 7 seconds what a funny thing. Get a sense of humor, Yuk it up.””

(…)

STELTER: We’re talking about the media very broadly. It included reporters and it also includes commentators. And I think there's a lot of commentators who are very disturbed by the President, some of whom may go overboard sometimes.

(…)

CyberAlerts Censorship Media Bias Debate Conspiracy Theories Double Standards Labeling CNN Reliable Sources Fake News Video Ben Ferguson Brian Stelter Carl Bernstein David Zurawik Donald Trump