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The head of Trump’s opponent has been replaced with the CNN logo. The mainstream media immediately erupted into an uproar, accusing Trump of inciting violence against the press. But when CNN retaliated by tracking down the creator of the meme and threatening to release his true identity to the public, many felt that the network had crossed an even bigger line than Trump had with his tweet.
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Weeks before Election Day 2016, Trump announced that he would be overseeing the grand opening of his new hotel in Washington, DC. He also mentioned that he would be putting everyone’s concerns over his questioning of former President Obama’s citizenship to rest. But the media’s excitement quickly turned to dismay as they were forced to cover multiple decorated war veterans endorsing Trump before the presidential candidate even took the stage.
By the time Trump finally arrived to give his remarks, the media had long since realized that they had been brutally rickrolled and perhaps weren’t surprised when Trump dedicated 270 words to the opening of his hotel and only 67 words to the issue of Obama’s birth certificate. But prepared or not, a trolling like that has got to sting.
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No one will ever forget Bill Clinton’s face on the night of the second presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle. Occasionally stealing shifty glances across the room, this former president of the United States and husband of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton seemed somewhat disturbed by the presence of four women in the audience. These women had been personally invited to the debate by candidate Trump, and they all shared one thing in common: Each claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton.
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These days, it’s plain to see that the media bitterly regrets ever using the term “fake news.” Like a merciless schoolyard bully, Trump has appropriated the term in full force and deployed it at every possible opportunity to harass and discredit mainstream news outlets. “Fake news” has become synonymous with Trump’s particular brand of verbal pugilism and PropOrNot.com’s feeble attempt to put a cork in the voice of dissent is all but forgotten.
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The mainstream media arrived with their full contingent, ready to absorb a few prepackaged sound bites to recycle throughout the coming days as a government shutdown loomed. Instead, members of the press were treated to nearly a full hour of candid discussion between President Trump and the liberal and conservative elected representatives whom he had invited to the proceedings.
Having been there for almost the entire meeting, the media had a much harder time spinning narratives that fit the bias of their bases. As a double whammy, all the cameras ensured that the attending Senators and Congressmen were on their best behavior. The icing on the cake: Trump was able to appear as a champion of transparency and interparty cooperation
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According to Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, once the cameras had been shut off and the media had been escorted from the room, Trump had complained out loud about the degree to which the United States was taking in migrants from “s—thole countries.”
Morally offended, Durbin made sure to tell CNN’s Jake Tapper all about the naughty language. The White House has vehemently denied that the comment ever took place. Nevertheless, Trump was endlessly lambasted for his insensitivity by lawmakers and pundits alike.
But what if that’s exactly how Trump wanted it?
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Throughout his 2018 State of the Union address, President Trump was careful to point out all the accomplishments that his administration had achieved in 2017. The stock market was at all-time highs, he mentioned. Manufacturing jobs were moving back to the USA, he quipped. Black unemployment was at an all-time low, he gloated.
Upon this remark, cameras panned to where members of the Congressional Black Caucus were seated on the Democratic side of the aisle. Not a single member stood, and only one representative was seen to clap. While the Black Caucus supposedly stayed seated to declare their opposition to the president’s policies, this is one optics battle in which Trump’s media savvy seems to have prevailed.
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President Trump chose some very interesting guests for his 2018 State of the Union speech. The First Lady’s box was graced with the likes of North Korean defectors, war heroes and their supporters, and border patrol officers. The tie for most tear-jerking attendees was between the police family who adopted the unborn daughter of an opiate addict and the pair of parents whose daughters were murdered by members of the vicious gang known as MS-13.
Even though they’re breaking the law by entering the country, most illegal immigrants who come to the United States don’t represent a threat to national security. MS-13 members, however, legitimately worship death and indiscriminately kill and rape for no reason.
As the cameras rolled, President Trump called out each of the parents by name. Republican members of Congress stood and clapped, but almost every Democratic member sat in stony silence or played on their smartphones. Trump had exposed on live television how little Democrats seemed to care about the victims of gang violence when the implications didn’t fit in with their agendas.
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Just days after the “s—thole” comment hit the fan, President Trump unveiled the winners of his eagerly anticipated Fake News Award. Unsurprisingly, CNN and The New York Times were some of the biggest winners. But many readers were somewhat taken aback by the instance of fake news which had garnered the No. 1 spot on the list - Paul Krugman, the American economist who famously predicted that this unexpected victory would cause damage to the stock market from which it would never recover.
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The term “Dreamers” has been used by liberal pundits and politicians to curry the sympathy of American voters by evoking the patriotic ideals of the American Dream. But during his 2018 State of the Union speech, Trump appropriated yet another of his enemies’ terms by reminding his audience around the world that “Americans are dreamers, too.”