Wednesday’s New Day on CNN almost managed to close out with a lighthearted piece about the Westminster Dog Show – until the segment devolved into a Trump bash-fest in which correspondent Jeanne Moos compared and contrasted the President with a dog.
The centerpiece of the news item (and likely the reason CNN was covering the dog show to begin with) was an Australian shepherd named Trump. Moos conceded that the canine had been named not after the President, but rather after the revolving trump suit in card games such as bridge. But that inconvenient detail did nothing to stop the intrepid CNN correspondent’s report from devolving into a complaint-riddled venn diagram about the Commander in Chief.
Moos remarked that while one Trump was a dog, the other was “a President who barks out insults using the phrase, ‘like a dog.’” This was followed by a brief clip compilation of President Trump using that phrase.
Of course, no CNN segment would be complete without some Russia talk, and Moos delivered on that front as well: “Trump himself has been depicted as a dog led around by Putin.”
“Critics have called the President a canine,” Moos continued, teeing up a clip of ostensible Republican Strategist Alice Stewart on Anderson Cooper 360 saying: “When you lie in bed with dogs, you get fleas.”
Moos also astutely pointed out that although dog-Trump and human-Trump both knew how to shake hands, there was no documented instance of human-Trump “having his mouth examined publicly.”
To their credit, hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman did not contribute to the Trumpification of an innocent dog show. Berman expressed mock outrage that the Best In Show award had never gone to “an actual dog” like a labrador or a retriever, while Camerota drew an entertaining comparison between the Ewoks from the Star Wars franchise and whatever this thing is supposed to be:
The pool of apolitical water cooler conversation topics was already shrinking at an alarming rate without Moos's help. Try to talk football, for example, and you’re liable to hear some unwanted opinions about “that kneeling guy” and the National Anthem. Mention the weather, and the odds are 50-50 that you’re in for an exasperating screed about global warming. Now we get to add dog shows to the list, too.
Obviously, this news brief represents Moos’s attempt at humor. But while the current lineup of Trump-obsessed late night hosts might think otherwise, it is, in fact, entirely possible to be funny without mentioning politics or the President.
To read a transcript of the news brief, click "expand" below:
CNN’s New Day
8:53 – 8:55 a.m. EST
ALISYN CAMEROTA: Well, an Australian shepherd named Trump made a lot of headlines, and that has Jeanne Moos wondering, which Trump is more deserving of best in show?
JEANNE MOOS: Two different Trumps took center stage at almost the same time: President Trump you know, but Trump the show dog was competing in Westminster. Doing some things the President does, Like shaking hands; and some he doesn't, like having his mouth examined publicly.
Actually, Trump the Australian shepherd is named after the trump card in the game of bridge, not the President, who that very same night was musing about whether he should get a dog.
DONALD TRUMP: How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn? Would that be –? Feels a little phony, phony to me.
MOOS: Trump the show dog did not win the herding group competition.
TRUMP: I understand losers.
MOOS: This is a President who barks out insults, using the phrase, “like a dog.”
“Bill Maher got fired like a dog”, “Sloppy Steve Bannon got dumped like a dog”, “Kristen Stewart cheated like a dog.”
TRUMP: And the guy choked like a dog.
MOOS: Trump himself has been depicted as a dog, led around by Putin. Critics have called the President a canine.
ALICE STEWART (ANDERSON COOPER 360): When you lie in bed with dogs, you get fleas.
MOOS: But you can't say Donald Trump never had a dog. I'm happy to introduce Chappy. Actually, it was first wife Ivana's poodle. In her book Ivana writes, “Donald was not a dog fan.” She wouldn't move to New York without the dog: “It's me and Chappy, or no one, I insisted.” Chappy had an equal dislike of Donald.
Yet for at least five years, Trump posed with every Westminster Dog Show winner, and those present said he seemed to enjoy it. Ivana writes, “Despite their issues with each other, Donald never objected to Chappy sleeping on my side of the bed.” That's more than you can say for President Obama and Bo.
REPORTER: Are you going to be in a bed?
BARACK OBAMA: Not in my bed.
MOOS: Still, with President Trump, there can only be one top dog. He's not going to let some pooch yank his chain.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.