What happens when the president of the United States makes a joke, but our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters in the press still want Hillary to be president? What happens when they decide the real scandal isn’t a POTUS eating dogs, but being Photoshopped into a picture with a dog?
Trump tweets a lot. We all know this. It’s 2019, and he hasn’t changed. He’s not going to change, no matter who complains or how loudly. I’m not a big fan of his tweeting, but I quit worrying about it long ago. It is what it is. So when he tweeted this yesterday, I thought it was… actually kinda funny.
AMERICAN HERO! pic.twitter.com/XCCa2sGfsZ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2019
Here, take a closer look at that photo:
Now, I’m no expert on photographs or photography, but I took one glance at that and concluded it’s obviously not a real photo, and obviously not meant to be mistaken for one. See the “@realDailyWire” watermark in the lower-right corner? That’s Ben Shapiro’s site. Somebody at the Daily Wire took an old picture of Trump awarding somebody a medal, and then crudely Photoshopped in the picture of the dog that helped track down al-Baghdadi. Everybody loves the hero dog, so here’s a meme about the dog. Hooray for that awesome dog! It’s not meant to deceive. It’s meant to be enjoyed.
Trump thought it was funny, so he tweeted it. And I agree with him. It’s funny. It’s silly. It’s a goof. It’s harmless.
Or so I thought.
Trump Tweets Faked Photo of Hero Dog Getting a Medal
President Trump on Wednesday shared an altered photograph of himself placing a medal around the neck of the dog injured in the raid last weekend that led to the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s leader…
[James C.] McCloughan was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for valor in combat, in July 2017. He is credited with saving the lives of company members during a battle on Nui Yon Hill in 1969 near the city of Tam Kỳ, Vietnam. He was struck by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire, but repeatedly ran onto the battlefield to rescue his comrades.
In a phone interview on Wednesday, Mr. McCloughan, 73, who had not seen the image before a reporter sent it to him, said that he interpreted it as Mr. Trump recognizing the dog’s heroism. He certainly was not offended and laughed when he compared the two images.
You read that right: The New York Times put two reporters on this important story. They tracked down the original guy in the photograph — which was “faked,” because that sounds more ominous and accusatory — and asked if he was mad. Unfortunately for their narrative, he wasn’t mad.
That’s okay, because a lot of very important media people are angry on his behalf:
I’ve requested details from the @WhiteHouse on this photo.
There was no such canine event on today’s @POTUS schedule but there is a Medal of Honor ceremony set here for later today for an active duty Green Beret. https://t.co/NESINT9J4b
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) October 30, 2019
A WH official said “the dog is not at the WH.” https://t.co/eJLqBMyKna
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 30, 2019
Fine, just the president of the United States disseminating a doctored image created by a right-wing propaganda site. pic.twitter.com/Ky26zdDaXe
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) October 30, 2019
Why the terrible photoshop on top of everything else? WHY? https://t.co/ZogZwAyvmL
— Anushay Hossain (@AnushayHossain) October 30, 2019
The leader of the free world is ganking boomer memes from Ben Shapiro’s clickbait factory https://t.co/3vZoxletzB
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 30, 2019
If they’re not having fun, nobody gets to have fun.
Shapiro has since responded to the manufactured outrage:
So, WaPo asked my business partner, @jeremydboreing, about our Medal of Honor dog meme. His glorious response is screencapped below. Their report then suggested Jeremy refused to answer questions about the picture. Um, no. We just think you’re being f***ing insane. pic.twitter.com/pEyOH96hEr
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) October 31, 2019
I’m not sure I approve of Mr. Shapiro’s language, but I share the sentiment.
This isn’t the first time the press has done this. Or the second. Or the third. It happens again and again and again. They didn’t get what they wanted in 2016, and they’ll keep pouting until they win again.
Of course, it’s different when Hillary tweets out something that obviously isn’t real and isn’t intended to be mistaken for real:
Found in the archives… pic.twitter.com/iFFeqloYHM
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 20, 2019
In response to this really funny joke, the NYT dubbed her a “Master Troll.” They said she’s “living her best life.” It’s not as good as winning elections, but they seem to find it comforting. Good for them, I guess?