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Media: ‘We All Got Rickrolled’ by Trump

Donald Trump played with the press and made them give him “more than 25 minutes of free airtime” on Friday. The journalists are not happy with that.

The Hill reports:

Journalists lashed out at Donald Trump on Friday after the GOP presidential nominee used his “major announcement” to get more than 25 minutes of free airtime on major cable news networks.

Trump had hyped a statement he would deliver Friday in Washington about whether he believes President Obama was born in the U.S.

By The Hill’s count, 26 minutes elapsed as pro-Trump military members spoke on the businessman’s behalf. CNN, MSNBC and Fox News carried the event from its beginning shortly after 11 a.m. Eastern.

After 20 minutes, Trump — who was on camera to the right of the podium — still hadn’t spoken about the “birther” controversy as he received endorsements and praise from members of the military on hand.

Around that time, the cable networks began airing audio of their anchors speaking, though they kept the video of the event onscreen.

CNN cut away first, about 21 minutes into the event, with Fox News and MSNBC following suit a minute later.

About five minutes after that, Trump stepped to the podium to make a short four-line statement:

“Hillary Clinton in her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.”

Trump then left without taking questions.

Media figures offered harsh criticism for the event.

“We got played, again, by the Trump campaign, because that’s what they do. … Voters can know what to do with that,” CNN’s John King said.

“We all got Rickrolled and played,” lamented CNN’s Jake Tapper, referring to a popular bait-and-switch internet meme.

MSNBC ran an onscreen graphic fact-checking Trump:
Kudos to MSNBC. Check out the middle chyron below. They inserted “falsely.” pic.twitter.com/DBg0CeR9wJ

— John Aravosis (@aravosis) September 16, 2016

Alex Ferrer was complimentary to Trump’s statement, saying on Fox News that “I think this definitely puts this to bed” and calling it “a really smart move” to get so much free airtime.

CNN’s Dana Bash saw things differently, saying: “I don’t think this [statement] puts this to bed. And only raises more questions.”

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

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