CNN’s new promotional video, “This is an apple,” has proven fruitful, at least in terms of inspiring conservative parodies.
The network unveiled a 30-second spot Monday called “Facts First” that shows an apple with the voiceover, “Some people might try tell you that it’s a banana. They might scream banana, banana, banana, over and over and over again.”
“They might put banana in all caps. You might even start to believe that this is a banana. But it’s not. This is an apple,” says the CNN promo, which comes as an apparent salvo in its battle with President Trump over “fake news.”
It was too much for conservatives to resist. The Media Research Center weighed in Wednesday with a parody video beginning, “This is CNN. They might try to tell you they’re a real news network.”
“They might scream news, news, news over and over and over again,” says the MRC video. “They might put NEWS in all caps. You might even start to believe that this is a real news network. But it’s not. This is CNN.”
That’s not all. Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican, retweeted a pro-life video that begins, “This is a baby,” while another take-off making the rounds features a picture of transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner called, “This is a man.”
The Daily Caller jumped in with a video called “@CNN is bananas,” and even BuzzFeed, not known for its conservative worldview, posted a riff on the knock-knock joke that starts, “This is a banana. It knocks on your door. You ask, ‘Who is it?’ That banana says, ‘Banana.’”
CNN reporter Dylan Byers wasn’t amused, calling it a “terrible joke” and taking a swipe at BuzzFeed’s traffic growth, which prompted eye-rolling from conservatives.
“Come on, now … CNN must have known its stupid fruit ad was going to be ripe for parody,” said the conservative site Twitchy.
Late-night comic Stephen Colbert presented CNN anchor Jake Tapper with an apple on Tuesday’s show, prompting Mr. Tapper to respond, “Oh, man. That’s an apple!”
Despite the mockery, CNN has kept the video pinned to the top of its Twitter feed with the hashtag #FactsFirst.
CNN CEO Jeff Zucker said he launched the ad campaign to “take a clear stand for who we are and what we believe in,” according to a staff memo obtained by the Hollywood Reporter.
“In recent months, I’ve been approached by many of you suggesting that we do a marketing campaign for CNN. While significant research shows that our brand, despite consistent attacks from Washington and beyond, has never been stronger, we heard you and we agree,” Mr. Zucker said.
“In fact, CNN has never been more relevant, and the institution of journalism has never been more important to the national conversation.”
Actor James Woods asked, “Could the boneheads at @CNN have teed it any higher with this last embarrassment? A commercial protesting that they aren’t #FakeNews. Lol.”