‘Koi-Gate’: CNN Falls for Misleading Trump Story About Fish Feeding Buffoonery


The Internet blew up this morning with video that purported to show President Donald Trump, unprompted, piling an entire box of fish food into a koi pond, thus adding to the accepted notion that the president is seen as a clown on the world stage.

There’s only one problem. The footage seemed to be deceptively edited to show only Trump dumping the entire box of food in the pond, despite Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe performing the very same action first.

CNN actually wrote and tweeted about the incident, falling for a fake, and stupid, news story. Their headline? “Trump feeds fish, winds up pouring entire box of food into koi pond.”

The video initially released from the Koi pond feeding came from the White House pool in attendance, and unedited, shows Abe first dumping his food into the pond. The CNN clip appears to have been edited by pushing in to isolate Trump dumping the food, hiding from the viewer Abe’s previous action.

Now it’s a whole thing. The Internet worked its dark magic and the video spread like the flu on a New York City subway railing. Donald Trump was at it again, a buffoon rampaging through Asia, forcing a bunch of koi to overeat. Other outlets, such as Bloomberg News and Buzzfeed, ended up covering the story similarly. Thus, “koi-gate” was born.

Right-leaning media did not waste any time in painting CNN’s flub as a representation of the larger specter of “fake news,” with Fox News calling CNN “ridiculous” and accusing other publications of using the opportunity to “twist the narrative.”

Here is the original footage, which clearly shows Abe dumping the fish food first.

It is unclear who edited the footage to zoom in on Trump in order to make it appear that he gleefully tried to drown the poor koi in delicious grub. But we are living in a time where there are facts, and alternate facts and a pretty intense media narrative battle involving all cable news outlets. So even in a clip as stupid an inconsequential as Presidential koi-feeding protocol? No need to put one’s thumb on the scale.

[image via screengrab]

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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