Fact Check: Twitter Lost it Over Trump’s Fish Feed — But Japan’s PM Dumped Food First

Last night, after President Donald Trump fed fish during a symbolic ceremony with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Twitter pundits fired off countless hot takes mocking the president for dumping his entire box of food into the Koi pond — but it appears these jabs were misguided.

As morning on the east coast came around, the aforementioned hot takes started to cool off as Blue Check Mark Twitter quickly realized Trump was simply following the actions of his host by dumping the box of fish food out — rather than going one spoonful at a time. While Abe does appear to chuckle at Trump when the president pours the food out, the prime minister made a similar move seconds before.

A photo of Trump dumping the food circulated on Twitter last night, leading many reporters and outlets to jump on the seemingly outrageous snapshot.

In a now deleted tweet, CNBC’s Christina Wilkie said, “Trump and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe were scheduled to feed koi spoonfuls of food. Until Trump poured his entire box of fish food into the pond.” In another deleted — and corrected — tweet, freelance journalist Yashar Ali tweeted, “Trump was supposed to feed the koi by the spoonful with PM Abe but quickly got impatient and dumped the whole box of food into the pond.” Similarly, Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs said, “Trump spoon feeds koi fish at Akasaka Palace. He ended up just dumping the whole box of fish food into the pond, per @justinsink at scene.”

A number of outlets ran full-length stories with the same misleading sentiment as these tweets — including CNN, New York Daily News, Jezebel, and The Telegraph.

CNN’s story was particularly poorly framed, as the network ran an article titled, “Trump feeds fish, winds up pouring entire box of food into koi pond.” About halfway through the piece, Veronica Rocha wrote, “With a look of enjoyment, Trump quickly poured his entire box of food into the pond. The move got Trump some laughs, and a smile from Abe, who actually appeared to dump out his box of food ahead of Trump” — admitting Abe actually did it first and disproving the whole point of her story.

While Daily News made a gaffe similar to CNN’s — burying the fact that Abe’s actions came first — The Telegraph and Jezebel‘s reporting is arguably worse, as the two sites fail to even mention Abe dumped his food at all.

Watch above via The Guardian.

[featured image via screengrab]

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma