Remember back on the eve of the 2008 presidential inauguration when CNN idly speculated on what would happen if the unthinkable occurred and a bomb blew up the inaugural dais, killing both Barack Obama and Joe Biden? No? Maybe that’s because there was no such discussion.
Which means that yesterday’s thought experiment on CNN’s “The Situation Room” won’t give you a sense of déjà vu, though it might — and should — give you a sense of outrage.
Anchor Wolf Blitzer opened the ghoulish segment with the question “What if an incoming president and his immediate successors were wiped out on day one?” Then he and correspondent Brian Todd went through a discussion of all the eventualities.
During the airing of the segment, a chyron emblazoned across the bottom of the screen headed “Developing Now” read “Disaster Could Put Obama Cabinet Member in Oval Office.”
The explanation for that bit of wishful thinking harks back to the designated survivor appointed by the Obama administration. That person, who is always off-site in an undisclosed location, could conceivably become president in the event that every person in the line of succession, from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on down, was also taken out.
Obviously CNN is displeased by the prospect of a Trump presidency coupled with a Republican-led Congress. But does the network’s contempt run so deep that it thinks engaging in fantasies about the death of the entire Trump administration and legislature are suitable grist for a news program?