Donald Trump is no stranger to wild accusations. Recently he accused former Defense Secretary James Mattis of being “The world’s most overrated general.” This statement came after Mattis criticized Trump for being the first president who has not tried to unite the American People. Not long before that Trump accused Twitter of censorship when they began fact-checking his tweets. Trump went so far as to sign an executive order that would open social media companies up to liability. He even had the audacity to accuse Black Lives Matter protestors of being aligned with terrorists.
But now President Trump is making an accusation he’s never made before: plagiarism.
In a press conference on Monday Trump said, “I believe White House staffers are leaking classified intelligence through the Netflix original Black Mirror. I can’t tell you how many of my suggestions I’ve seen on that program. I told the secret service to put tracking chips in my cabinet members to suss out the leakers, and a few days later I saw the same idea on Black Mirror.”
While the episode the president is referring to “Arkangel” was released in 2017 it didn’t stop him from drawing further connections. According to anonymous staffers the protests have Trump spit-balling more and more strategies that resemble episodes of the science fiction anthology.
They gave us several examples. “When the defense secretary told the president that servicemen don’t want fire upon American civilians the president proposed implanting soldiers with neural implants that would make civilians look like vicious mutants.”
No one had the heart to inform the president that his suggestion was the plot of a Black Mirror episode titled, “Men Against Fire.”
Trump went on to lament James Mattis going rogue and writing a tell-all editorial. Trump was so worried about future embarrassment he floated replacing Defense Secretary Mark Esper with a lifelike facsimile.
“Why can’t we get Elon Tesla to build us a robot?”
“Because the general’s wife will know the difference between a cyborg and the man she married.”
“What if we get Mark Facebook to program a personality based on the defense secretary’s social media activity.”
“You mean like in that episode of Black Mirror ‘Be Right Back?’”
Trump tried to flip the Resolute desk before playing it off as though he was merely struggling with a drawer on his way to finding a pen. “Here it is. Have someone oil this hinge.”
A press conference straight out of Black Mirror
By the time the president made his announcement he had several more examples of ideas that had found their way into the show.
“I am your president of law and order. It isn’t enough to bump a suspect’s head before putting them into a paddy wagon. We need real deterrents. I was telling the attorney general that we ought to sentence criminals to televised torture. We could give them amnesia and have masked contestants chase them around. Every day we could wipe their memory and do it all over again. I mean, they’d get exercise. They’d get out to see the sun. There’s nothing cruel and unusual about it. But you know what the attorney general says to me? ‘Oh, you mean like in that episode of Black Mirror?’
Well, you know me I’m the most level headed guy you’re ever met. So I pitch Mr. Barr another idea. What if we sold keychains with recordings of death row inmates final moments? You know, something nice for the families of their victims. And you know what Barr says, ‘Oh, you mean like that episode of Black Mirror?’ The guy’s like a parrot. A big far parrot.
So I moved onto the Department of the Treasury with a different pitch: Yelp, but for people. Someone asks you a nasty question, writes a nasty article, you give her a low star rating. Then she goes to buy a home, the bank looks at her star rating, and they don’t to give her a lone.
And Steve said, ‘You mean like that episode of Black Mirror?’
I take a step back. I take a deep breath. I’ve got a lot of great ideas so I move on. I said had this great idea for streamlining the back to work initiative. Put unskilled workers on exercise bikes and make them generate power. And anyone who isn’t healthy enough for spin class has to clean up after them. You know, jobs for everyone. But guess what secretary of labor tells me?”
Trump affected a child-like shrill, “‘You mean like that episode of Black Mirror? You mean like that episode of Black Mirror? You mean like that episode of Black Mirror?’” He scratched his nails down the podium as he spoke.
The president called upon the FCC to comb through Netflix’s catalogue for other offenses. “I’ve heard House of Cards has taken a bunch of my ideas.”
He also called upon the British government to extradite Charlie Brooker, the showrunner for Black Mirror, to the U.S. where Brooker could be charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917.
When pressed for a response Brooker said, “This is so bizarre. I wrote an episode of Black Mirror about exactly this. It was called ‘Head like a Hole” and it wasn’t slated to be released until 2021.”