CBS has been forced to delete a tweet featuring a list including the words "Assassinate – President – Trump" from a recent episode of one of its shows.
The tweet, containing the photo and the awkward phrase "Hmmm…some of those target words look a little familiar. Did you catch any easter eggs in this scene from The One Where Diane Joins The Resistance?", riled up Trump fans on Twitter over its 'inciteful' language. In addition to the Trump assassination message, the list also featured the words "Eliminate – Mar-a-Lago" side by side in the second column, in reference to the president's Florida home.
Threatening the President of the United States is a federal felony under United States Code Title 18, Section 871. It consists of knowingly and willfully mailing or otherwise making "any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President pic.twitter.com/2g2iLEVyf2— Krenesh (@aussiedragon0) April 14, 2019
Many urged the Secret Service, the FBI or the Federal Communications Commission to "please investigate this assassination threat against President Trump", with users suggesting that this was a "despicable" attempt to "run subliminal messages" to encourage the president's murder.
@SecretService, please investigate this assassination threat against President Trump.— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) April 14, 2019
Its time for everyone to call the FCC Monday Morning and make a complaint This is unacceptable. 888-225-5322— Kent Andersen (@bladerunner1268) April 15, 2019
Notified the @SecretService as well this morning. Top of column two… they also call for a destructive attack upon Mar-A-Lago. 😡— Dawn Williams (@willy_dawn) April 14, 2019
Horrifying. @thegoodfight @CBSAllAccess @CBS needs to be investigated and arrests made for this!
They since deleted the tweet, but screenshots…😊 pic.twitter.com/IqBsF6QJdx
A subliminal message. How many actually will try now @CBS? You guys are garbage. They just don't hide it anymore do they?@SecretService I know this is a TV show but look into the writers & those who produce the show on @CBS. If they write it they think it.— Jay (@JaySJX) April 14, 2019
Trumps own @FBI better look into this immediately. And if they don’t it just goes to show everyone how very little control Trump has over his own departments.— ❄️Max (@GoSkers2018) April 14, 2019
Others alleged that the video was a "blatant" violation of Twitter's terms of service and "'literal' terrorism backed by CBS."
Wait, why does Twitter allow this up? This is *literal* terrorism backed by CBS.— Ali Alexander (@ali) April 13, 2019
*Literal* terrorism. This violates Twitter’s Terms of Service so blatantly.
*Literal* terrorism video. @TwitterSafety @FBI #TheGoodFight https://t.co/2AvxmKyiBI
Some users argued that the move, while "completely crazy", might just be a "publicity stunt" aimed at getting more subscribers for CBS's paid streaming service.
Completely crazy! Imagine if conservatives did this during Clinton or Obama's presidencies.— @NaNa ⭐⭐⭐ (@PatriotDreamerz) April 14, 2019
It's prob a publicity stunt to get more people paying for their streaming service but it will come back to haunt them.
Do better @CBS. I actually get CBS All Access to watch Star Trek Discovery and keep it all year long just to support. Don't make me cancel it.— David (The Gay Republican) (@GayRepublicSwag) April 14, 2019
Even Trump's opponents chimed in to criticise CBS, saying such a "call to violence" has "no place in the world."
This time I will agree with you. I want trump gone but done so legally. This looks like a call to violence and has no place in the world.— Army Liberal Vet (@LiberalVet) April 14, 2019
A few users familiar with the show went the other way, however, saying that in the show's universe, the NSA listens to people's phone calls for these and other code words to protect the president, with this, rather than a call to assassination, being the main message.
That list of words is the list the in-show's NSA watches for when listening to people's phone calls. That's how they protect POTUS. The main character is actually married to a Trump Supporter. In fact, they have many characters that are trump supporters on the show.— Kslone (@Kslone4) April 14, 2019
Other words seemingly randomly words inserted into the list include "fake news," "Hillary" and "Clinton," "Cheeto," (an insulting nickname for Trump), "Kushner," and "Mueller."
This is the second time CBS and The Good Fight have gotten into trouble over a character discussing the assassination of the president, with similar complaints reported last April.