What the sh*t, CNN?
I thought we had an understanding. After a lead-up to the 2016 election in which you elevated a wannabe autocrat with tertiary syphilis because he was good for ratings, I thought you figured things out. Thanks to what I can only describe as an uncharacteristic bout of optimism, I believed that you’d maybe, hopefully, realized that such behavior was short-sighted at best and personally dangerous at worst. After all, you kept Trump the top story for four years, and in return, he declared open season on your reporters. Time after time, members of your profession were attacked by Trump proxies. It culminated in Jamal Khashoggi’s torture and murder at the hands of a Saudi kill squad trained in the US under a program that began under Barack Obama’s Administration and was a bad idea from the beginning. Torture and murder at least passively condoned and excused by the Trump Administration in general and by Slenderman’s kid brother Jared Kushner in particular, who justified his BFF (Brutal Fascist Friend) Mohammed bin Salman’s extrajudicial murder of a family man and US resident as a “misstep.” As though he tripped over an antique rug while texting and autocorrect somehow turned a harmless takeout order into a death sentence. I know he wasn’t a CNN employee but professional courtesy should at least stop them from publishing PR puff pieces on the Kushners’ behalf. For a couple years now you were almost above pandering to the Trump family in exchange for access. We could even forgive you for Chris Cillizza.
But here we are. It’s been five months since Jared and Ivanka left the comfort of federal employment behind for the cold, scary world with only their brand new $640 million for comfort, and here comes CNN to promote their redemption tour.
“Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner distance themselves from the former President and his constant complaints.” That’s what CNN went with. Kate Bennett and Gabby Orr spoke to a whopping twelve sources so they could assure us “the gap between Trump and his daughter and son-in-law grows wider by the week.” Ivanka “is being very present, in the moment.” She is “…focused on her children, and spending time with them, period.” Jared, meanwhile, the poster boy for failing upwards, has distanced himself from Trump because the old man is jealous of Jared’s 7-figure book deal with HarperCollins. They are tired of listening to Trump complain ad nauseam about the election he lost and so they’re moving on to better things. Twelve sources! CNN spent less effort making sure Jeffrey Toobin wasn’t going to crank his driveshaft at CNN employees. Fewer resources were consulted when Chris Cuomo helped out his lecherous brother. You talk to twelve confidential sources when you’re breaking a story about a sex abuse coverup, not how two former Presidential advisors without a single accomplishment under their belts are spending summer vacation.
The rebranding is subtle, so far. Nothing in there about Ivanka’s return to the business world or Jared rediscovering his love of fly fishing or whatever it is Rigellians do for fun when not draining the cerebral fluid from imprisoned migrant workers. Ivanka’s all about the children — not the brown ones she watched her dad separate from their parents but did nothing about because it wasn’t part of her “portfolio,”, but her own. That’s why they’re taking golden hour strolls in normal human clothes while the photographers swarm like Floridian mosquitos.
It’s not the only time recently that CNN’s provided cover to Trump followers and allies. These were the top headlines on the site three days ago.
One video story no one will watch, because no one ever watches them, about how terrified Pelosi’s staffers were. The rest? Here’s why these people still think he won the election. The DOJ “accidentally” got Democratic phone records. Feel bad for Ashli Babbitt. CNN wants Trump to remain. They want him and his cadre in the spotlight because it makes their job easy. There’s always something to talk about, and it drives clicks. Hell, here I am doing it too. But I’m not a major news organization and I remember the damage the Kushners cost: Their obvious grift. Their pandering to strongmen. Their lack of experience, making fraught situations worse. And the four years they spent embarrassing us on the world stage.
A short clip of Ivanka Trump attempting to converse with world leaders during #G20OsakaSummit went viral for her appearing awkward and out-of-place, and it's fueled concern of the president's daughter's influence on U.S. foreign policy https://t.co/aMjRi3vAwo pic.twitter.com/ONAvnbDlG3— POLITICO (@politico) July 1, 2019
Dynasties are easy to write about. There’s no new research, no past to dig into because it’s already been done, only the names really change. Otherwise, we’re forced to imagine the vapid credulity it takes to believe Ivanka and Jared’s sudden “focus on their family” after years of enabling the worst Presidential administration is anything other than damage control. Inspiring empathy for these poor scions of obscene generational wealth keeps the gravy train chugging along. The focus on the Kushners makes sense in some ways. Donald Jr appears focused on cramming enough white powder up his nose to give a decent Mike Lindell impression. Eric Trump’s giving Newsmax and OAN interviews because no one else wants to hear from the guy who looks like an Innsmouth refugee and stole charity money from kids with cancer.
This story isn’t “news.” Kushner’s basically Zuckerberg with a slightly improved emotion emulation chip and Ivanka’s only real utility has always been acting as Donald’s proxy. This is the beginning of a PR campaign and honestly, it’s the kind of nonsense CNN would rise above if it had any integrity. Let Fox News run this trash. Soon it’ll be glossy interviews where Ivanka wafts through their newly built mansion on a privately owned island, looking like an Insta filter come to life. She’ll tell the journalists in that breathy, creepy child’s voice about how she loves her father and he only wants what’s best for the nation, but they see differently on many issues, like the 2020 election results. All we can do is focus on the future because looking back at all the Trump administration graft and corruption and human rights violations will only further divide us. And wouldn’t you know, Ivanka and Jared have a plan for that future. All we need to do is invest a few billion dollars or 70 million votes. CNN will ignore its culpability in rebranding the Kushners as more than vultures picking the nation’s bones. They will publish exposés on favor-currying and blatant cash grabs and it won’t matter that they’re who the Kushners turned to when they wanted to test the waters. It happened before, and it’s happening again right now. The saddest part is that it’ll probably work.
Image sources (in order of posting): Getty Images, MEGA