#CNNBlackMail is trending.
Because right-wingers don’t get how things work.
Apparently, Trump University started handing out law degrees and didn’t let the rest of us know, because all over Trump’s America, the gnashing of teeth and wailing of our temporary president’s base can be heard as they scream about how a Reddit user with a penchant for publishing bigoted shit was treated by CNN. Last week, you may recall our orange-tinted moron of a president tweeted a lame video clip made from an old appearance of his on WWE’s Wrestlemania special.
The clip put a CNN logo over Vince McMahon’s face, and then Donald Trump tackled the CNN analogue.
That clip was tracked down to Reddit user “HanAssholeSolo,” and to absolutely no one’s surprise that user had also posted bigoted and hateful things in a subreddit in addition to creating the now infamous video. What’s noteworthy is that HanAssholeSolo actually did something the “president” has never done. He apologized. When news broke of his apology, CNN reached out to the user and interviewed him.
And that’s where this story takes a turn for the stupid.
When I awoke this morning and checked Twitter, I saw all kinds of tweets from right-wingers freaking out about “#CNNBlackmail.” Tweets, for example, like this one from Capt. Perma-Jizz Face himself, Don Trump, Jr.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 5, 2017
Overbite Junior also tweeted this gem on the subject:
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 5, 2017
Then you had the NRA’s favorite dead-eyed sociopath and spokesperson Dana Loesch’s tweet.
First they came for the memes …
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) July 5, 2017
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. (source)
For starters, we should dispel the myth that the Redditor is some kid. He’s not. By all accounts he’s a middle-aged man who knew exactly what the fuck it was he was doing. But don’t take my word for it, here’s Keith Olberman with the fact check.
The middle-aged racist who created the video isn't 15. Neither is your father, who disseminated it. Although he sure acts 15. https://t.co/c4cHMNKb2b
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) July 5, 2017
But maybe you think Olberman’s too biased to be honest. So let’s just check in with the CNN reporter who actually spoke to the man himself, shall we?
I would say that I’m shocked Donald Trump, Jr. was spewing bullshit, but then I’d have to admit that I’m also constantly surprised by the wetness of water. The conman does not fall far from the con-tree, and Junior is every bit as mendacious as his papa.
I have a hard time believing that CNN’s lawyers would let a story get filed that openly publicizes a blackmail attempt. The simple timeline is that HanAssholeSolo posted his apology and then CNN found out who he was and contacted him. They didn’t find him, deliver an ultimatum, and secure an apology. The President of the United States of America publicized this guy’s work, which makes it and him imminently newsworthy.
When Trump decided to blast the GIF for all to see, he’s the one that put HanAssholeSolo in the spotlight.
I also have an extra hard time feeling any sympathy for the right’s sensibilities here. They had a full-on meltdown over the cast of “Hamilton” politely admonishing Vice President Pence to not be a bigoted dick. They got themselves in a lather over a staged production of “Julius Caesar” portraying the titular character — who is assassinated — as Trump, when the same exact theater troupe cast the character as a black man during the Obama years.
They also missed the entire point of that play, but that’s beside the point.
Republicans lost their collective shit over Kathy Griffin’s stupid beheading photo but don’t see any problem with Trump using this animated GIF to further his attacks on the free press. That’s maybe the most insane hypocrisy about the whole ordeal. They wanted Griffin brought up on charges over her stunt, but want us to believe Trump really wasn’t advocating attacks on CNN with his clip.
Just imagine if Obama had tweeted a video of someone bitch slapping Fox News. The right would howl and howl until Paul Ryan personally drafted and delivered articles of impeachment.
Can we also talk about how they’re freaking out over “blackmail” allegations against CNN, which are laughable considering CNN and their employees reported threats against them, and they’re not in the least bit concerned about what Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski reported last week? We found out that people in Trump’s inner circle were attempting to get the “Morning Joe” hosts to grovel at Trump’s feet so he’d tell National Fucking Enquirer to kill a story about them. But not a single Republican complaining about CNN’s treatment of HanAssholeSolo comes with a similar complaint about Trump and team’s treatment of Scarborough and Brzezinski.
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The collective howling of Republicans aside, it’s pretty obvious what CNN did wasn’t remotely blackmail. They didn’t contact the man responsible for the GIF until after he “outed” himself on Reddit and apologized. They didn’t demand an apology, or that the delete his most offensive posts; he did that of his own volition. CNN saying that they’d publish his name if those things changed is simply holding him to account after exercising editorial discretion.
The bottom line is actually pretty simple — the man helped Donald Trump elicit threats on CNN, who then in turn did a little digging to find out more about that man. That’s Journalism 101. Had Trump simply decided to be, oh, I don’t know, presidential and not retweet some random douchebag stranger he didn’t vet, then no one would be in the position to hold anything over that poor, picked-upon antisemite’s head.
When Republicans start dealing with their dear leader in the same over tweets like these, then I’ll believe they have the foggiest concept of what “blackmail,” “threats,” or “intimidation” really mean.