President Donald Trump shared a new video on Twitter created by his "memesmith" that appears to blame "fake news" for racism. The video shows a fake CNN chyron reading "Terrified Todler (sic) Runs from Racist Baby," and suggests the network would twist the heartwarming 2019 video to only show the end, where the Black child is running from the White child. The video earned the praise of Trump's supporters but had other Twitter users shocked.
Trump's video began with a home video clip of a Black child running from a White toddler, with tense music added. Then, it shows the longer video, which includes the two children hugging each other while Harry Connick Jr.'s "Close to You" is playing. "America is not the problem," reads the text after the clips play. "Fake news is. If you see something, say something. Only you can prevent fake news dumpster fires."
CNN did cover the video of the two children hugging, under the headline "These two toddlers are showing us what real-life besties look like." It dates back to September 2019 and was filmed in New York. One of the fathers of the toddlers shared the video on Facebook and it quickly went viral at the time. The children are Maxwell and Finnegan, who were both 2 years old at the time.
The video was created by a Twitter user named "CarpeDonktum," who bills himself as an "Eternally Sarcastic Memesmith specializing in the creation of memes to support President Donald J. Trump." According to a New York Times profile, he is a stay-at-home dad in his mid-30s and lives in Kansas City. He gained attention for first posting memes on Reddit's The_Donald forum. He created the infamous GIF of Trump body-slamming a wrestler whose face was replaced by the CNN logo. In February, he created a video of Democrats watching Trump's State of the Union, but it was taken down for copyright violations because it included R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts."
Ok, now do the part where the white baby shoots the black baby in the back.— Liddle’ Savage (@littledeekay) June 19, 2020
CarpeDonktum told the Times the "future of political advertising" is creating memes and going viral. "The 30-second spots on TV aren’t the way to market anymore. The stuff online that people dismiss as memes — that’s the way to motivate people. It's the viral political marketing of the future."prevnext
Here's how CNN actually covered this video https://t.co/tzW7YbygBw— Adrian D. Garcia (@adriandgarcia) June 19, 2020
Trump's tweet suggesting that "America is not the problem" came on the eve of Juneteenth, the celebration of the end of slavery, and amid the ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism. The latest Black Lives Matter protests began after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. Activists have also shined a light on other Black men and women killed in police action, including Breonna Taylor in Louisville in March and Rayshard Brooks on Friday in Atlanta.prevnext
I guess complaining about fake news while sharing fake news about fake news is that next level 4D chess everyone’s talking bout— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) June 19, 2020
WTF is this? Why are you using these children as a political tool?— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) June 19, 2020
You accuse CNN of running a fake video of black and white children hugging in the street, but CNN actually ran the real video of these kids back in September. You’re the one spreading fake news. And exploiting these children for your political benefit.pic.twitter.com/9Ky5y6Nyin— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 19, 2020