Yesterday, President Donald Trump made one of his weirdest tweets to date. He shared a cute video of two babies embracing that had been doctored by some unhinged MAGAhead to be a parody of “Fake News.” It starts with the white child chasing the Black child with a chyron saying “TERRIFIED TODDLER RUNS FROM RACIST BABY” followed by one that reads “RACIST BABY PROBABLY A TRUMP VOTER.” The video then rewinds to show that the two children were simply playing.
It managed simultaneously to mock the reality of racism in this country and exploit toddlers for a political point. At the risk of this writer repeating, it was a deeply weird thing for the President of the United States to do. Twitter at least had the good sense to mark the tweet as containing “Manipulated Media.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
As it turns out, some parents don’t take kindly to their children being used to push bigoted talking points by our monstrous president. CNN reports that the video has been removed from Facebook because a parent of one of the babies filed a copyright claim. Clearly he or she did not appreciate the way in which their child was going viral.
Jukin Media, which is representing the parents who created the video, spoke to CNN about the incident.
“Neither the video owner nor Jukin Media gave the President permission to post the video, and after our review, we believe that his unauthorized usage of the content is a clear example of copyright infringement without valid fair use or other defense,” said Jukin.
The company has also requested that Twitter remove the video but Twitter, which is infamously hands-off on these kinds of issues, has yet to respond or take action.
Parent of toddler in 'manipulated' Trump video forces Facebook to remove ithttps://t.co/sIIESlgHnl
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 19, 2020
CNN’s Jim Acosta ended up confronting Trump’s spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany about his using of children to make a “crass political point.” She gave, as she always does, a wholly unconvincing and sycophantic answer. According to her, the president was simply making a point about CNN. Repeatedly looking down at her notes, she served up a word salad that did nothing to address the concerns people have about Trump’s tweet and absolved him of any wrongdoing.
Watch her shameful performance below.
Jim @Acosta: "Why is the president sharing fake videos on Twitter about two toddlers…it seems as though he's exploiting children to make some sort of crass political point? Why is he sharing fake videos?"@PressSec: "He was making a point about CNN specifically…." pic.twitter.com/zLxl95Zfmh
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 19, 2020
To state the obvious: this is not normal. We should not have to talk about our president tweeting out bizarre baby videos. At this point, there’s little need for more reasons to vote against Trump in November and yet that’s what we have here. Let’s end this madness.