Trump Jr. Retweeted A Video Of His Father Shooting At A CNN "Fighter Jet"
On Saturday, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a video meme depicting a CNN "fighter jet" being shot at with a missile by the president. His caption read: "One of the best I've seen."
The tweet was originally created by a Twitter account called Old Row, who captioned the tweet, "Hey CNN, we heard you like memes." Trump Jr. then shared the photo-shopped scene of Trump shooting at the plane bearing the CNN logo.
While the graphics of the meme itself could be considered new terrain, this isn't the first time the president's oldest son has expressed distaste for this particular news network.
On Thursday, Trump Jr. accused CNN of bullying following a controversy about yet another meme. His accusations were shoehorned into the briefly trending #CNNBlackMail hashtag. To express his derision, he tweeted, "CNN: Let's bully and intimidate citizens online so they never question our
#fakenews again! #CNNBlackmail.'"
The #CNNBlackMail hashtag was originally created in response to a piece CNN posted about the Reddit user who created the Wrestlemania GIF of Trump. The video itself shows Trump tackling a wrestler bearing a photoshopped CNN logo. It quickly went viral when president Trump tweeted the GIF on Monday.
In the article that spurred online controversy, CNN writer Andrew Kaczynski shared how he reached out to the Reddit user who created the GIF, and was able to locate his identity.
"CNN is not publishing “HanA**holeSolo’s” name because he is a private citizen who has 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," wrote Kaczynski.
People on the internet started accusing CNN of blackmail after the original Reddit user, Hana**holeSolo posted an apology online, before quickly deleting his account. Dissenters claimed that CNN pressured the Reddit user into apologizing.
Given this recent context, it's hardly surprising that Trump Jr. retweeted another meme specifically targetting CNN.
Even so, the optics of a presidential family keeping up an online beef with a media company is not a professional look. Particularly when the medium for dissent is expressed through photoshopped GIFs and memes that contain violent imagery.
The meme of President Trump blowing up CNN with a missile is certainly not alone, in the days following the WrestleMania GIF controversy, there have been a number of memes depicting a rivalry between the president and CNN.
On Wednesday, CNN issued a statement in response to the accusations of blackmail. It read:
"Any assertion that the network blackmailed him or coerced him is false. The user, who is an adult male, not a 15-year-old boy, apologized and deleted his account before ever speaking with our reporter. CNN never made any deal, of any kind, with the user."
CNN has not responded to Trump Jr. or the creator of this latest meme.