CNN couldn’t stop displaying the empty seats at President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and now it seems it’s gleefully tossing the credit for the lower-than-usual attendance to sabotage by Tik Tok users.
Brian Stelter praised a user nicknamed “Tik Tok Grandma” for rallying younger Tik Tok users to reserve seats at the Tulsa rally and then not show up, doing what they called a “no-show protest.” Stelter credited this move by Tik Tok for being the reason, at least in part, why Trump’s usually packed rallies were missing so many people.
“And it seems that one of the other reasons why there were so many empty seats is a no-show protest. A no-show protest,” said Stelter. “This all started with a video on TikTok created by Mary Jo Laupp, who is effectively being called a ‘TikTok grandma.’ So, she made a video more than a week ago urging viewers to go to Trump’s site, sign up to attend the rally, but pointedly not show up at the rally.”
“Her video was viewed tens of thousands – hundreds of thousands of times, and then her video led to others, you had younger TikTok users going on posting similar videos, K-Pop fans were on there as well trying to sabotage Trump’s rally,” he continued. “And look, it did seem to work to some degree. We don’t know exactly how well, but Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, was out there talking about how many people were signing up. Trump was bragging that there were a million people RSVP’ing, they were gathering all this data about people they can use for the campaign. But apparently it was a bunch of kids, a bunch of teenagers signing up as a protest.”
These reserved seats ostensibly prevented others who actually wanted to attend the rally from getting in, creating the illusion that Trump wasn’t as popular as he used to be.
Stelter seemed to daydream on air about whether or not this will be how things are in the future, where every rally is interfered with and thousands of people are prevented from going to see Trump.
“Do you think this is how it’s going to be from now on, whenever the President holds a rally there’s going to be this attempt to prank him, to troll him, to trick him?” Stelter hypothesized. “So, really a form of protest, and what we’ve seen as a protest. We don’t know how much of an impact it had but it clearly had some impact in Tulsa.”
This shouldn’t be something to brag about if all of this is true. What Stelter is effectively doing is congratulating people for doing what they would very likely consider a massive attempt at election interference if the shoe were on the other foot. Not that it really mattered that much anyway. While unconfirmed as of this writing, Trump’s communications director, Tim Murtaugh, claims that 4 million people watched the rally through a screen.
No matter what kind of interference takes place, Trump’s speeches and messages will find a way to the people he’s trying to get them too. Meanwhile, no one seems to care about what his opponent, former VP Joe Biden has to say.
If CNN is this giddy over underhandedly sabotaging Trump’s rally while proclaiming that Trump’s low attendance at his rallies is signs of his decline, then they’re telling themselves obvious falsehoods to make themselves feel better about Biden’s upcoming loss in 2020.