CNN Immolates Itself (opinion)

Already synonymous with fake news, CNN risks destroying the little credibility it retains by threatening to expose those it deems guilty of Thought Crimes.

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Last night CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski casually tweeted, in an “exclusive,” that the recently mocked news outlet had tracked down and discovered the identity of the anonymous user of Reddit who created the instantly legendary GIF that President Trump tweeted, showing him taking down an individual with a CNN logo for a head during an old WWE match. If you haven’t heard about that, you’ve either been in a coma or trying to lose an upcoming republican statewide race in Minnesota. Frequently, they’re hard to tell apart.

From the article tweeted, CNN explained:

It was this boxed text that set the internet aflame last night, and I’m not readily impressed by internet outrage. This time, though, as they say, it was quite different.

The disgust and revulsion was immediate and deservedly vicious. Threatening to expose anyone’s private personal information online is known as doxxing. CNN spent much of the Fourth of July tracking down and hounding some hapless guy who “sh*tposts” on Reddit and causes no harm. There’s also that First Amendment thing going on, too.

The media in America are held in low esteem, if not frequently hated outright. I cheerfully put myself in that latter category and only wish there was one stronger, short of profanities.

The hashtag #CNNBlackMail was born in a flash and went into wide circulation, trending in an instant. Usually on Independence Day we celebrate a nation born of a desire not to be ruled by a monarch but by we ourselves (the literal meaning of “Sinn Féin,” for you of Irish extraction).

Here, we came face to face with a patently fascist move by an enormous corporate media outlet whose hatred of anything Donald Trump is its calling card.

This assault on free speech came fresh on the heels of a story so fake that CNN not only couldn’t correct it, it retracted the story outright and three high ranking employees resigned, which in newspeak means they were fired. The “too fake even for fake news CNN” story dealt with, of course, Russia.

We can see it: why can’t they? This remains the abiding question. As Scott Greer said on Twitter: “The CNN threat shows the primary concern of the establishment media is policing the public, not informing us.”

The fallout from CNN threatening to dox anonymous Americans online will likely be unpleasant. A couple of weeks ago, in my “Based Stick Man” opinion piece, I introduced readers to the term “weaponized autism.” This is a term of art when it comes to describing some on Reddit or 4chan. I speculated last night on Twitter that the reaction from that crowd would be swift, merciless and ongoing.

Even before I could get offline to write my thoughts about CNN here, it began. If you’re on Twitter and never search by hashtags, you’re missing half the action.

Sure enough, there was a screengrab of Andrew Kaczynski’s tastes in pornography. Don’t give me the usual “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Those people are Jeb! supporters, think W was a great president and want to pretend republicans in Minnesota can become a majority party by trying to please their way to office through media appeasement and boy scout platitudes.

Twitter, despite some of the best minds being banished, remains the wild West. Saddle up or take a hike. Whining is for snowflakes.

I can count on one hand the times I’ve visited Reddit or 4chan, especially 4chan /pol/. But you should know about them because they are helping to shape, at a minimum, our current political discourse. And it is, to borrow John Nolte’s signature phrase of glee at media destruction, “glorious.”

The fallout from CNN foolishly thinking it can put the average online American in their corrupt and dishonest crosshairs will continue for sometime. You read it here first. But you won’t witness it unless you’re on Twitter or online in the right places. Even if you’re not, you’ll eventually see it bleed out into the larger discourse, to the media’s pronounced disadvantage.

I can’t do any better than @Instapundit (IRL Glenn Reynolds, who btw follows and occasionally retweets me on Twitter #HumbleBrag):

“CNN has chosen the form of its Destructor. A million @4chan guys.”

 

Image credit: @IllHave2Please, Twitter

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