A selectively edited CNN video briefly tricked the internet into thinking that President Trump had disrespected Japan's sacred fish.
We don't like to dive into politics here too often, but this is just too bizarre. My phone buzzed Monday morning with a news alert. We use these apps to help us get a jumpstart on breaking news stories. With yesterday's shooting in Texas, I figured the update would be something about the shooter's motive. Instead, I received a link to this article on CNN -- about Trump feeding Japanese koi fish ...
Paying this ridiculous headline no attention, I turned to media to see what else was happening in the world. Sure enough, people were focusing on the fish food saga.
This is the edited, zoomed-in video clip that seems to have started the whole controversy with President Trump's detractors condemning him for disrespecting Japan's iconic koi fish (really). Veronica Rocha is a breaking news reporter for CNN. The implication is that Trump did something wrong by dumping a bunch of fish food into the pond all at once.
But the truth is -- and I can't believe that we even have to publish an article about fake fish news -- that Donald Trump followed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's lead. The Japanese PM was the one who dumped his whole box of food into the koi fish pond first. Shortly thereafter, Trump did the same.
CNN's original article was edited and they included a brief disclaimer:
The move got Trump some laughs, and a smile from Abe, who actually appeared to dump out his box of food ahead of Trump."
to dump out his box of food first? No, the unedited video literally shows the Prime Minister doing it first. There is no debating these temporal facts. One action preceded another. The fact that the President's koi fish-feeding methods became a brief scandal is absolutely ludicrous, but since this is 2017 and we've thrown out all the rule books, real reporters actually started fact checking the fish-feeding timeline.
We don't have to all agree politically. In fact, it is better when we all have healthy policy disagreements. I don't care whether you support or oppose the Trump Presidency. America's experiment with democracy has been so successful because at the end of the day, Americans are able to put aside their political differences and break bread with one another.
But this literal fake news and attempts by media outlets to make mountains out of mole hills is simply not healthy. The driving impulse to turn everything the President does into an impeachment-worthy scandal is hurting this country.
For now, Fishgate has been put to rest. We'll just have to wait for the President to feed another animal before the next scandal breaks.