CNN was excoriated on social media Thursday over a pair of chyrons that appeared to blame President Donald Trump for the rash of package bombs that were sent to media and political figures.
Screenshots were shared widely among critics of the mainstream media and supporters of the president.
This @CNN chyron is utterly ridiculous: https://t.co/ygitubPiDC— Steve Guest (@Steve Guest) 1540487263.0
Steve Guest, the Republican Rapid Response director, posted one screenshot and added, "This @CNN chyron is utterly ridiculous."
The chyron read, "Manhunt for serial bomber going after Trump's targets."
While the targets of the package bomber did seem to have in common that they were all targets of the president's combative rhetoric, it is by no means conclusive that the bomber was motivated by his rhetoric.
The package bomber or bombers have not been caught, and the FBI is actively investigating the devices that were ostensibly sent to injure the media and political figures.
In another chyron captured by NewsBusters, the media watchdog organization, CNN implied that there was enough evidence to assume the president was responsible for the attacks.
"Trump has no plans to claim any personal responsibility for inciting serial bomber," rang the chyron.
CNN: TRUMP IS RESPONSIBLE FOR INCITING THE BOMBER. HE NEEDS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. (At least @mkhammer insisted r… https://t.co/lqNQ12e52D— NewsBusters (@NewsBusters) 1540484881.0
Others noted that while the words blaming Trump flashed under CNN host John King, he claimed that no one was blaming the president.
“No one’s blaming the President,” King said. “Is anyone blaming the President? But the president now wants to make this about him."
In a similar event in June, the president mocked ABC News for reporting that his former campaign manager Paul Manafort had plead guilty to five charges of manslaughter. Manafort had plead guilty to bank fraud and other charges unrelated to manslaughter.