Media Freak Out Over Trump Feeding Fish in Japan

After a video clip surfaced showing President Donald Trump emptying a box of fish food into a koi pond Monday, many members of the media and Trump critics took to Twitter to express their outrage that the president would do such a thing — even though Trump had followed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s lead.

Trump and Abe were headed to lunch at the Akasaka Palace when they entered the dining room overlooking the koi pond, bearing wooden boxes filled with fish food. The two leaders began the feeding ritual by spooning small portions of the fish food into the pond before Abe took the lead and dumped a larger portion of the food into the pond without the use of the spoon. Trump followed suit, dumping what appeared to be the remainder of his portion of the food into the pond.

But when video clips of Trump's fish-food dumping began to circulate on Twitter, many of them omitted Abe's actions and highlighted the president's decision to unceremoniously dump the box's contents into the pond. It didn't take long for Twitter users and members of the media to pounce on Trump and begin accusing the president of overfeeding the koi and dishonoring Abe.

New York magazine and Huffington Post contributor Yashar Ali initially tweeted, "Trump was supposed to feed the koi by the spoonful with PM Abe but quickly got impatient and dumped the whole box of food into the pond."

Ali later deleted the tweet after all of the information circulated, saying, "I've deleted this tweet which was based on multiple news reports but the video clearly shows Abe dumping his box of food first."

"I regret the error and apologize. Even though I based my tweet on news reports, I should have double-checked..this is on me," Ali added.

The Huffington Post itself tweeted, "Watch as Donald Trump totally gives up on feeding fish in Japan."

"Our only hope is that Donald Trump exercises greater control over our nuclear arsenal than he does a box of fish food," John Iadarola, host of "The Young Turks" TV series, tweeted.

"Trump spoon feeds koi fish at Akasaka Palace. He ended up just dumping the whole box of fish food into the pond, per @justinsink at scene," Bloomberg News White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs tweeted while omitting Abe's prior food dumping.

Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire tweeted, "Trump scooped out some feed for the coy in the pond below before opting to just dump the whole box. Rex Tillerson, standing nearby, laughed."

Anna Fitfield, The Washington Post's Tokyo Bureau chief, tweeted, "Trump dump: president throws entire box of fish food into precious koi carp pond."

But when the full reports of what exactly happened at the koi pond actually came out, some realized the media's and Trump critics' mistakes.

Bloomberg News foreign policy reporter Nicholas Wadhams tweeted, "Abe dumped his fish food first."

AP New Jersey news editor Josh Cornfield tweeted, "Early morning twitter with lots of 'how dare Trump dump his box of koi food' takes. Video shows Abe do it first."

"The 'Trump offended Abe by dumping all his fish food into the water' thing is actually fake news for once," BuzzFeed political editor Jim Waterson tweeted.

Last Modified: November 6, 2017, 1:30 pm

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