- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 5, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

CNN may not be so great when it comes to reporting on the IRS targeting of tea party-type groups requesting nonprofit status.

It may not be so good at digging up the dirt on Fast & Furious, or getting to the ins and outs of the Iran treaty deal forged by Barack Obama. But on memes?

CNN’s your guy. 

Move over Watergate. There’s a new earth-shatterer in town and it’s called, get this, Meme-gate.

“If only @CNN spent as much time tracking down info on IRS targeting, Fast & Furious, Iran deal etc as they did a meme writer! #CNNBlackmail,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote in a Wednesday morning tweet about the network’s extensive investigation to identify the creator of the video clip of the satirical wrestling match between the president and CNN.

But it’s not all fun and games — funny as Trump Jr.’s Twitter message is. There’s a deeper lesson to be learned, and it’s one that President Donald Trump has been pointing to for a very long time: The media, very often, is no friend of freedom, no friend of the people, no friend of this White House.

There is in fact a media-driven war against this president.

But on the score, note to CNN: You’re losing.

Trump the candidate spent much of his election season time calling out the media for false narratives, for skewed polls, for outright deceptive and partisan hits. And Trump was proven right. The polls were wrong, he won the White House, Hillary Clinton was sent packing and the American people were handed a new age of politicking that went like this: America first.

It wasn’t long after polls closed that the media began reporting on the mental instability of this incoming president, and the fact that he would likely face impeachment due to his obvious inability to lead. That mantra’s continued for months. And still, it’s President Trump, not former.

It wasn’t long into Trump’s presidency the whole Russia-hacked-the-election mantra reached fever pitch, fueled by an angry press that still couldn’t accept the idea Clinton was tossed. Trump isn’t bona fide, the media crowed. He stole the White House. He worked hand in hand with Russians to steal this White House. Those whines continue and yet, months into the investigations, and once again, it’s: Nothing. Trump’s not wearing handcuffs; he’s not traded his White House digs for ye olde iron bars.

The media’s fishing, and it’s starting to become noticeable, yes?

So noticeable in fact that CNN was just forced to pull back on some fishy Russia-type coverage of Trump, and accept the resignation of three of its news staffers.

That was a few days ago. Now, CNN’s gone full force into digging into the background of the individual who created the satirical clip of Trump’s CNN take-down — as if this were a matter of national security. Or, even national interest.

Enter Trump Jr., with the mocking tweet.

And viola — victory, once again, is President Trump‘s. In a few short words, Trump Jr. cut through the entire fiasco to sum up the people’s reaction to CNN right now. If we’re talking about the power of perception and the power of optics, it’s Trump, not CNN, who’s emerging the winner on this front.

Trump, who already won against a hate-filled media on the campaign trail, who is steadily winning against a hate-filled media on the Russian investigation trail, is now winning not just the battle but the war on the whole “Media is the Enemy” mantra. Why? Easy.

Trump calls the media the enemy. And the media, instead of showing its friendly smile, bared its attacking teeth — and went after a private citizen.

CNN is not publishing ‘HannAssholeSolo’s name [the creator of video, because he’s] issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again,” CNN wrote. “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

So the message from CNN?

A total underscore of Trump’s view of the media as an enemy.

A total face-slap to the First Amendment that put the private citizen on notice and said, hey, play by our rules — or we’re coming after you. Sorry, CNN. You can continue to clip at Trump’s heels with digs and jabs about Russia or North Korea, and little nips and bites about the economy, or foreign policy, or domestic affairs. But on the notion of a biased media, and an attacking liberal-minded press?

That’s a war Trump’s won. It’s pretty clear, after seeing CNN’s latest, the president’s right: The media can very well be an enemy of the people.

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