Trump tweets mock video of him beating CNN, sparks criticism

Screen grab of a mock video tweeting by US President Donald Trump showing him beating a man with his face obscured by the CNN logo.
Updated 04 July 2017

Trump tweets mock video of him beating CNN, sparks criticism

NEW JERSEY: US President Donald Trump crowned his weekend rage against the news media with a mock video that shows him pummeling a man in a business suit — his face obscured by the CNN logo — outside a wrestling ring.
It was not immediately clear who produced the brief video, which appears to be a doctored version of Trump’s 2007 appearance on World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE). The 28-second clip was posted on Trump’s official Twitter account Sunday morning, with the message: “#FraudNewsCNN #FNN.”
Trump, who has branded the media as the “opposition party” and CNN as “fake news,” stayed on the attack later in the day, stating on Twitter that “the dishonest media will NEVER keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of our GREAT AMERICAN PEOPLE!”
On Monday, he continued the attacks on Twitter: “At some point the Fake News will be forced to discuss our great jobs numbers, strong economy, success with ISIS, the border & so much else!”
Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, condemned the video as a “threat of physical violence against journalists.” He said Trump’s tweet was “beneath the office of the presidency.”

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which represents some 600,000 journalists worldwide, also condemned the tweet. The group’s president, Philippe Leruth, said on Monday: “We join the international criticism of such violent and bullying behavior which demeans the office of the president of the US.”
A White House aide insisted the tweet should not send a chill across the media landscape.
“I think that no one would perceive that as a threat,” Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said. “I hope they do not. But I do think that he has beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.”
The White House strategy has been to pull no punches when it comes to addressing its critics.
White House officials traveling with Trump during his weekend stay at his New Jersey golf club did not immediately respond to questions about the video. It appeared to be a doctored version of an appearance Trump made on a WWE show called “Battle of the Billionaires” in 2007, in which Trump appears to attack WWE CEO Vince McMahon.
McMahon’s wife, Linda, who founded and built the company with her husband, now heads the Small Business Administration for Trump and was a donor to his campaign.
The video was posted several days ago by a Reddit user with the title “Trump takes down fake news.” It was not clear whether that was where it originated or how Trump found it. Still, the user wrote Sunday about being “honored” Trump had tweeted the video. The user who posted the video has a history of posts using anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant language.
The president’s verbal shots against news outlets and individual members of the media have grown increasingly personal in recent days, even as lawmakers in both parties say the insults only threaten to undermine his political agenda.
CNN accused Trump of engaging in “juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office.”


Arab films set for Red Sea Film Festival screening

Updated 24 February 2020

Arab films set for Red Sea Film Festival screening

  • MBC Group to support young film makers with training from industry professionals

LONDON: Young Arab film makers will have the opportunity to have their work showcased at next month’s Red Sea International Film Festival as investment in Saudi cinema gathers pace.

The Red Sea International Film Festival has announced a partnership with MBC Group, which will also broadcast the event’s opening ceremony on March 12.

As part of the deal, MBC Al Amal, MBC’s corporate social responsibility arm, will hold a Shorts pitch competition.

Ten short film projects will be selected from Saudi Arabia and the MENA region, with filmmakers being given a one-day workshop to prepare for a pitching session. 

Italian director and producer Stefano Tealdi will train the candidates to strengthen their skills and give them tips for better pitches, MBC said.

“We strongly believe that this new generation of talent is key in influencing change and creating the difference to the region’s media and entertainment content landscape, which of course includes independent film and mainstream cinema,” said Peter Smith, managing director of MBC Studios.

The region’s biggest broadcaster will also host talent days on March 17 and 18 to support Saudi scriptwriters, directors and producers.

The inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival takes place March 12-21 in Jeddah Old Town, under the theme “Changing the Script.” It aims to support and help grow Saudi Arabia’s emerging film industry which is attracting a slew of investment from homegrown dramas shot in the Kingdom to the construction of cinemas countrywide.

Real estate broker CBRE estimates that 45 new cinemas are expected to open this year.

The boom in cinema construction coincides with a push to develop the domestic Saudi film industry.

That is being driven by both the big and small screen as video-on-demand players that include MBC, Netflix and Amazon compete to deliver content that speaks to a young Arab audience.