Less than one week after President Trump announced that CNN was the "winner" of one of his so-called Fake News Awards, a man has been arrested for threatening to massacre CNN employees while mentioning "fake news" in one of his threats.
CNN is taking a restrained approach to the story, which other media outlets are covering in earnest. So far the Atlanta-based cable news network has not released video clips of its on-air coverage (the story did not come up during my admittedly incomplete morning scan of CNN), and over the last 24 hours CNN has tweeted just one link to the report posted on its website:
"Fake news. I'm coming to gun you all down": Michigan man arrested after caller threatens to kill CNN employees at the network's Atlanta headquarters https://t.co/l2DvI3mpW0 pic.twitter.com/pt0hpLHKyx— CNN (@CNN) January 23, 2018
That report, written by Darran Simon, begins,
Authorities arrested a Michigan man last week after he allegedly called CNN several times, threatening to kill employees at the network's Atlanta, Georgia, headquarters, according to a federal affidavit. Brandon Griesemer made 22 calls to CNN on January 9 and January 10 and four calls, which were recorded, contained threats, according to the affidavit, which was unsealed Friday.
It takes until the 15th paragraph for the CNN story to quote some of what Griesemer said:
"Fake news. I'm coming to gun you all down," said the caller, who cursed and used an expletive directed at African-Americans, the affidavit said. "I am on my way right now to gun the f****** CNN cast down .... I am coming to kill you," the caller said in a second call to CNN, according to the affidavit.
Further down in its report, CNN reveals that it employed its own investigator to track down who made the calls. That investigator's search of a law enforcement database revealed that Griesemer was dumb enough to call from a phone registered to his father in addition to calling from a mobile phone.
CNN's online story is unusual in that it doesn't make mention of the fact that Griesemer's "fake news" line parrots one of President Trump's favorite catchphrases—a connection that other news organizations are generally not hesitating to point out.
On her personal Twitter account last night, CNN contributor Ana Navarro had this to say in sharing a link to CNN's coverage:
This is why Trump's words and tweets, and his memes showing violence against the press, matter. https://t.co/iFX2g2Bmq7— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) January 23, 2018
Her mention of "memes showing violence against the press" is an obvious reference to this notorious Trump tweet from last summer: