You’ve probably all seen the video that Trump tweeted of himself taking down a mock CNN personage which is simply a montage cleverly placed over an old wrestling scene in which Trump participated.
I watched it, I laughed, and I went on to the next internet tidbit.
In an incredible display that lacks any self-awareness to the situation, CNN has publicly gone after the reddit user who originally published the gif, forced him to make a public apology, and even more incredibly is now holding him to ransom for it.
CNN is not publishing “HanA**holeSolo’s” name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.
CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.
It appears that CNN now considers itself as the public arbitrator of what is or is not allowable behavior in the public sphere. In taking this stance, CNN is setting itself apart from the democratic institutions set up to judge these matters in our democratic society.
That’s a nice way of saying that CNN is effectively blackmailing the kid under threat of public humiliation if he doesn’t toe the line. What is even more astounding is that CNN is parading itself as the arbitrator of public decency, which is a far cry from its own acceptable standards of behavior, and journalism for that matter.
In other words, CNN can dish it out but they can’t take it. They can’t take it from President Trump, and they sure as shit can’t take it from some 15 year old kid on reddit. In the video with the piece, CNN’s reporters state that they went after every previous post the kid has made on public message boards, thereby accusing him of the stock standard sins of racism, antisemitism, and being a bigot.
There is no rhyme or reason behind this. It was a joke gif, posted on a message board but then tweeted by the president. But seeing as CNN lacks the clams to go after Trump then they’ll settle for a teenage kid and hold him hostage for the crime of making a gif and not getting away with it as far as CNN is concerned.
The gif has humiliated CNN as is exposed by its subsequent actions. It is plain for everyone to see. But what shouldn’t be lost here is the implication that CNN gets to track down and publicly out anyone that posts something that it doesn’t like. Because that can go both ways.
If media organizations can track down private citizens like this then how secure will some journalist feel who has run a hit piece on an individual who may not appreciate it? How hard would it be to track down a journalist’s private details, their address, phone numbers, and potentially their own private online viewing habits, and post it to the net?
Because what you don’t want to do is piss off teenage boys with lots of time on their hands who hang around the internet. I don’t think the semi-autistic savants at 4 chan who twice managed to find a flagpole in the continental US based on weather and star patterns would have much trouble outing whatever journalist pissed them off.
Perhaps the 4 chan boys could start off with the two so-called journalists in that video as well as Andrew Kaczynski who wrote the article. Hack into their personal computers, find out their online viewing habits, and then make them write a fawning Stalin-like public apology and wave it over them, and then threaten that they will reveal the privately accessed information anyway whenever they feel like it.
Surely something like that would be illegal?
Perhaps CNN hasn’t really thought this through. Not surprising, they are journalists after all. Dumber than a bag of rocks.
Here’s looking at your lawsuit, kid.