A CNN crew covering Thursday’s Carrier press conference with Donald Trump and Mike Pence has been caught joking — on camera — about Trump’s plane crashing. The embarrassing and unprofessional episode took place as CNN Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux (shown) and her crew were conducting sound and camera checks before covering the press conference. While waiting for Trump’s plane to arrive, they joked about whether his plane would land or crash.
The purpose of the press conference was to discuss the details of the deal president-elect Trump was able to strike with Carrier — a major manufacturer of air conditioners and heat pumps — to keep nearly 1,000 factory jobs from going to Mexico. Trump is working to keep manufacturing jobs in America while — during Obama’s eight years in the White House — jobs have been possibly America’s greatest exports.
Granted, many at CNN must be upset to see Trump already succeeding (even before taking office) where Obama (who they hailed in messianic terms when he took office) has consistently failed. It is also clear that Trump and CNN don’t get along. Just days before the press conference, Trump tweeted, “I thought that @CNN would get better after they failed so badly in their support of Hillary Clinton however, since election, they are worse!” Trump’s remark about the network’s “support of Hillary Clinton” would certainly refer to CNN’s claim just before the election that Trump encouraged his supporters to vote multiple times. What Trump had actually said was, “In some places, [Democrats vote] four or five times, but we don't do that." CNN later quietly edited the story in an apparent attempt to hide their biased and erroneous reporting. No wonder Trump has consistently referred to CNN as the “Clinton Network News.”
As if to confirm Trump’s tweet, what happened during the CNN equipment check before the press conference is beyond the pale.
While discussing what they would cover in the first part of Malveaux’s coverage, a producer (who is off-camera and can be heard but not seen in the video) informs the correspondent that Trump’s plane has not yet arrived. She and Malveaux discuss what signal she will give Malveaux to let her know the plane has landed so that she can begin her coverage. Here is a transcript of that portion of the video:
PRODUCER: One minute. One minute.
[muffled talking and background noise]
PRODUCER: So, landing any minute...
PRODUCER: Oh! If I do this [apparently some type of gesture], it means he’s landed.
[Malveaux and an unknown male off-camera laugh at whatever the gesture was.]
PRODUCER: [first part obscured by Malveaux coughing, but presumably something along the lines of “If I do this” while showing another gesture] that means his plane’s crashed. I’m kidding.
[Malveaux makes a shocked expression with wide open eyes and raised eyebrows, but laughs and then exaggerates her facial expression as if shocked at the news of Trump’s plane crashing.]
UNKNOWN MALE OFF-CAMERA (as Malveaux is making her facial expressions) I like that! [muffled] used to that. Not killed, just injured.
One can only imagine the backlash if — while covering a press conference for president-elect Obama eight years ago — a FOX News crew had joked about his plane crashing and him being injured.
The YouTube video, which can be seen below, has more than 1,262,000 views as of this writing and has been up only one day.
In a statement CNN released once the video went both public and viral, the news network said:
An unfortunate and inappropriate remark was made by one of our producers off camera yesterday. We have apologized to the Trump transition team, and the producer has been disciplined.
The statement does not say what that “discipline” was. It also makes no mention of the unknown male who joked that he liked the idea of Trump’s plane crashing and Trump being “not killed, just injured.” Nor does it mention Malveaux’s apparent approval of the joke.
So, president-elect Trump saves almost 1,000 American manufacturing jobs and CNN employees — while covering the press conference — are caught brazenly joking on camera about his plane crashing and him being injured. And CNN’s response is to apologize and discipline the producer? Given the biased and inaccurate reporting and low-brow “humor” of the network’s employees, it should be interesting to see how CNN will cover Trump’s presidency.