On Sunday's Reliable Sources, fill-in host John Avlon showed a clip of President Trump at a rally in Colorado mocking the awarding of Best Picture to the South Korean film Parasite. Trump was up to his old tricks, tweaking the Hollywood elite for being so global in outlook. He had to know (1) it's always easy to make fun of movies with subtitles, which many people will skip and (2) making fun of foreign-language films is going to set off the NPR and CNN snobs. Avlon just threw in this little 45-second commentary.
JOHN AVLON: Beyond attacking the first non-English film to win Best Picture, Trump's comments make his nostalgia for a bygone era even more apparent. Because not only is the 80-year-old film Gone with the Wind profoundly racist by today's standards, let's not forget that Sunset Boulevard is a film about an aging, washed-up movie star who loses touch with reality. Too close up, perhaps.
Reality Check for Avlon: Trump is president of the United States, which doesn't define "washed up."
That's hardly the first outbreak of snobbery on CNN.
On Friday, Grabien clipped another CNN moment around Trump's Parasite-mocking remarks. CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin welcomed on Justin Chang, a film critic for the Los Angeles Times and the NPR cultural show Fresh Air. But first she enjoyed quoting a tweet from Neon, the distributor of Parasite, cracking that Trump "can't read." They also put that in the chyron.
Chang adored giving Parasite the Oscar, saying "the academy had to get past I think some of its own xenophobia, its aversion to subtitles, in order to prevail in this way. So it's kind of unfortunate, I think, that we have a president whose entire presidency is founded on xenophobia, and of course, his comments are not surprising coming from someone who likes to dehumanize and demonize people of other cultures and people of color."
You can see why NPR signed this man up, and why CNN invited him in. It continued:
JUSTIN CHANG: Well, that whole thing, Gone with the Wind and Sunset Boulevard, that all smacks of a dog whistle harking back to an earlier era of Hollywood greatness. And look, we can love Gone with the Wind and also acknowledge its romanticized view of the old South, which many people rightly find problematic. So that's another sort of racist dog whistle as well.
But I think it’s just real laziness on his part. He is just someone who — it's very lazy, I think, to say that, you know, a lot of people say this, there are no movies being made in the present today that are as good as the classics that were made 50 or 60 years ago, and it’s totally fine that Trump is, you know, out of touch with popular culture. You know, he has or should have better things to do like running the country, but he really should think twice about speaking about things of which he is so woefully ignorant.