Media howls over medal-wearing Conan

Friday, November 1, 2019
 | 
Billy Davis, Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Conan meme reactionThe mainstream media seemed to lose its collective mind this week after President Trump retweeted a meme of him putting a medal on Conan, the heroic dog involved in the al-Baghdadi killing.

Curtis Houck of Media Research Center says the journalism watchdog documented the media’s reactions which he describes as “pure lunacy” for the over-the-top responses to an obvious joke.

Among the responses, CNN's Jim Acosta contacted the White House and informed the public that the dog was, in fact, not at the White House.

A correspondent at the left-wing propaganda site Huffington Post complained that the meme originated from a “right-wing propaganda site,” referring to The Daily Wire, and Voice of America reporter Steve Herman informed the public that he has “requested details” about the photo because there was no “canine event” on President Trump’s schedule.

The picture, taken from a 2017 Medal of Honor ceremony for James McCloughan, was sloppily Photoshopped --- likely on purpose --- by The Daily Wire. It even included the news organization’s name and logo in a lower corner so presumably the most blind reporter could see it.

Yet the media’s reaction, Houck tells OneNewsNow, was “totally serious” about a clever online joke.

“There's no hint of irony or sarcasm or attempt to make joke of the situation,” he says. “They believe it is a real story.”

Houck

But the media did find an angle to chase after: how did Vietnam War hero James McCloughan feel about being used as a joke by a right-wing news website?

Politico editor David Freelander complained that the dog was Photoshopped over McCloughan, and a New York Times reporter found 73-year-old McCloughan, showed him his original photo and Conan, then asked for comment. He laughed. 

“This recognizes the dog is part of that team of brave people,” McCloughan, who worked with dogs in Vietnam, said of the altered photo.

The New York Times also reported that McCloughan, a medic who rescued wounded soldiers during a 1969 battle, told the reporter he was concerned about the condition of Conan, since the dog was injured when al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest.

“Once a medic,” the Medal of Honor winner told the liberal newspaper, “always a medic.”

In addition to its meme, The Daily Wire also reported -- thanks to President Trump -- that Conan is scheduled to visit the White House next week.

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