A violent meme video was played at a pro-Trump event on Oct. 14, 2019 in Miami, Florida that stirred controversy in an already polarized nation, as reported in an NBC News article. In the video, President Donald J. Trump’s face was superimposed onto actor Colin Firth during a scene from “Kingsman: The Secret Service” in which he massacres people in a church. The parishioners being gunned down in the video were shown as political opponents of the president and even entire media organizations like CNN and The Huffington Post.
Comedian Kathy Griffin, who was condemned in May 2017 for posing with a severed head that looked like President Trump, jumped to criticize the creation of such a disturbing clip, as reported by USA Today. I find it hilarious that Griffin believes that she has the moral high ground on this issue. After all, the type of political violence portrayed in the video is an inadvertent result of her actions. Griffin undeniably contributed to the toxic environment in which this video was created, so I think that she should stay silent on this topic so as to avoid exposing her hypocrisy on this issue. Griffin surrendered her right to comment on political issues when she revealed herself to be a dangerously intolerant individual.
However, this is not to say that the violent video is in any way justified. Though I do not believe that it is tantamount to Griffin’s actions, it is certainly not right. American Priority, the group that hosted the pro-Trump event, claimed that they never saw the video before it aired at the event. They mentioned that there was a portion of the event devoted to the condemnation of political violence, as reported by NBC News. Regardless, every American should find something wrong with the idea of killing political opponents for personal or political gain, whether it’s intended as a joke or not.
I think that this video speaks to the current state of American politics and the extent to which we are polarized. This particular video comes at a time that Democrats and the mainstream media have effectively teamed up to take down the president. Though they have been doing this for far longer than you might have imagined, it has just recently become glaring. For example, ABC recently aired a video from a Kentucky gun range and told viewers that it showed the outbreak of war between Turkey and the Kurds, as fact-checked by Snopes. The showing of this fake video by ABC attempts to turn voters against the President’s decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria. Perhaps this was simply human error, but it shows the lack of vetting within the media when it comes to issues that damage the president.
As aforementioned, the media has been assisting Democrats in a takedown of Trump using the impeachment inquiry. The media continues to report speculation as facts, exuding brutal disregard for the true purpose of the media and directly contributing to political polarization in America. They continue to peddle obvious falsehoods to Americans, but I’d like to debunk some of these falsehoods about the Trump-Ukraine controversy. President Trump did not ask the Ukrainian President for a “favor” to investigate Joe Biden. There was no clear “quid pro quo” according to the transcript of the call. President Trump did not mention Biden eight times during his call to the Ukrainian President. If Trump’s actions were that shameful, why can’t the media just report the facts and allow the American people to decide whether his actions were wrong?
The violent video that was played at a pro-Trump event never should have aired at that event, as it was highly inappropriate. But instead of simply condemning it, I think that we ought to analyze why anyone would make such a video and whether the media is to blame for the problematic state of political relations today.