On Sunday morning, NewsBusters shared a Saturday night segment where CNN anchor Don Lemon laughed uproariously as two guests mocked the ignorance of Trump voters. On Monday night, President Trump retweeted video of this mockery. Now Eugene Scott, a Washington Post political analyst, warned of the political fallout in an piece headlined:
Trump says CNN doesn’t respect rural Americans. Don Lemon’s mocking segment will prove it to them.
Even as the Democrats impeached him, Trump has routinely underlined the contempt of the liberal elites for "rubes" and "hillbillies" in red states who love America and Jesus and police and armed forces and other traditional values and institutions. Scott began his article:
President Trump has long argued that CNN’s coverage of him is negative because the organization thinks little of him and his supporters. A recent segment on the cable network seems to be making that case for him.
Political strategist Rick Wilson and CNN contibutor Wajahat Ali traded gibes about how Trump voters had no use for "geography and maps," and "math and reading." Wilson called Trump's supporters a "credulous boomer rube demo."
Scott noted Trump supporters like Mike Huckabee jumped on Twitter to say this would help Trump. "“Keep up your contempt of us deplorable ‘hillbillies,’” he tweeted. “Laugh at us loud now. Election night when Donald Trump wins in landslide reelection, I’m sure you won’t look so smug.”
Since early in the 2016 election, Trump has been the choice of white working-class voters — particularly those who live in rural America. Despite Trump being a New Yorker with an Ivy League pedigree, these Americans have said he understands them in ways other politicians and the elite media do not.
As negative headlines about this administration continue to pile up, Trump’s support with those voters who sent him to the Oval Office remains strong. One of the reasons they continue to stick by him — despite critics’ claims that Trump has failed to keep the promises he made to rural Americans — is that the president and many of these voters share what they perceive as a common enemy: elite media and specifically, CNN. (Disclosure: This reporter worked at CNN.)
Scott noted "conservative media is likely to blow the CNN segment out of proportion to further its own narrative," but he concluded:
In the states where white working-class rural voters have large populations, Trump remains well-liked despite being impeached and being the object of criticism across the globe. Seeing media personalities go from criticizing the president to directly mocking his supporters, even in just this one instance, is all Trump and his team need to illustrate the president’s frequent portrayal of CNN as a media organization that not only dislikes Trump but also doesn’t value Americans who support him.