Few days go by without President Donald Trump and his supporters showing some sense of outrage toward the so-called “media elites.” But even Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, is joining in condemning a CNN segment on Saturday in which Don Lemon cannot contain his laughter as guests Rick Wilson and Wajahat Ali mocked the president’s “boomer rube” supporters.
The three were discussing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s post-interview outburst at NPR host Mary Louise Kelly, in which he challenged her to identify Ukraine on a blank map. Wilson said it was Trump who wouldn’t be able to find it on a map even if “you had the letter U and a picture of an actual physical crane next to it.”
“That is part of them playing to their base, playing to their audience, the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump,” Wilson said, as Lemon burst out laughing. Wilson then went into a Southern rural accent and said that the demo “wants to think that Donald Trump’s the smart one and you all elitists are dumb.'”
Ali joined in. “You elitists, with your geography and your maps and your spelling,” he said.
“You’re readin’,” Wilson replied.
“You’re readin’. Your geography. Your knowing other countries,” Ali said.
CNN highlighted the segment, which was from Saturday evening, on its website. But it got picked up by conservative site Daily Caller on Monday evening, which sent it out with a tweet that said, “America, this is what CNN thinks of you…”
Trump tweeted out the Daily Caller post, with the note, “Don Lemon, the dumbest man on television (with terrible ratings!).”
His daughter Ivanka also commented, tweeting, “You consistently make fun of half the country and then complain that it is divided. The arrogance, mocking accents and smug ridicule of this nation’s ‘Real Elites’ is disgusting.”
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted, “Wondering if @cnn is going to acknowledge (apologize) for this arrogant & divisive view of our country. There’s a reason trust in our media is at an all time low.”
It’s important to note that Trump’s rise has been fueled by the idea that the elites are mocking him and his supporters. When Hillary Clinton, at a September, 2016 fundraiser, said that a portion of Trump’s support was a “basket of deplorables,” Trump’s campaign seized on the remark and some of his most faithful supporters treated it like a badge of honor.
Unlike Clinton, who said she regretted the comment, Wilson and Ali were unapologetic.
Wilson, a Republican political consultant who is a member of the conservative group of never-Trumpers called the Lincoln Project, called the reaction to the segment “fauxrage,” or yet another effort by Trump to stir cultural resentments among his supporters.
Wilson tweeted, “My FAVORITE conceit from #UCrane from Trump fluffers goes something like this: “Well, NOW that you’ve insulted my honor, I TOTALLY voting for Trump in 2020. I was on the fence, but you elitists pushed me to Trump!” Uh huh. NO one who is engaged in this fauxrage was on the fence.” He also responded to a number of irate comments he got for the segment, and then tweeted a video of Trump using a mock-Southern accent.
Ali wrote on Twitter, “Trump tweeted our CNN clip from 2 days ago. Friends are now concerned about my safety. I refuse to be intimidated & bullied by bad faith actors who cry fake victimhood, whining about a harmless, silly 30 second clip while endorsing Trump, a cruel vulgarian who debases everyone.”
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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