If there has been any single event that should make you entirely unapologetic about casting the ballot for Donald Trump back in November, it would have to be CNN’s behavior from the past week. Just when you think, wait a minute, there is NO WAY these people could be more hypocritical, they begin a national media firestorm about encouraging a culture of violence against the press over a shitpost that Trump retweeted. And then, just when you think—again!—wait a minute, there’s no WAY that these people could get MORE hypocritical, they blackmail an apology out of some alleged fifteen-year-old who didn’t even make the shitpost that was retweeted in the first place. And then they double down.
CNN’s network ratings have been in the garbage can. Their credibility after the deluge of Russian-linked “anonymous sources” sits near the bottom of that can, and the recent Project Veritas sting has taken the entire garbage can to the landfill where journalistic integrity goes to rot. You would think that they’d wise up and maybe reverse course—issue a public retraction here or there, right its course, and, most importantly, stop making such insanely idiotic editorial and administrative decisions. Threatening to dox a teenage kid over a silly meme? Threatening to dox him over a meme that the President hadn’t even tweeted?
But okay, #CNNBlackmail is already starting to get a little old as a hashtag. CNN’s thuggery and bullying tactics are now on display for the whole world to see, and it’s already sparked another heated media fervor discussing things like The Hacker Known As 4chan and meme wars. Underneath all of it is the ever-sinister Alinskyite tactic of forcing the opposition to own up to its own standards and words. Anonymity online should be eradicated, CNN seems to believe, but the anarchists sporting bandanas in the streets have a right to their facemasks. Given the previous administration’s tendency to gin up some charges for a prison sentence when journalists got a bit too nosy, and given the Left’s voracious appetite for hounding the people that don’t tow their line, it’s reasonable to harbor both fear and resentment toward those you poke fun at online.
Which brings us to BuzzFeed’s article. True, BuzzFeed helped blast even bigger holes into CNN’s competency—they couldn’t even extract an apology out of the right person—but it’s not written as a hit piece on CNN. It’s written as if this mysterious third party that modified HanAssholeSolo’s original .gif is a nefarious meme mastermind feeding information directly to Trump, a Grima Wormtongue who types everything with his thumbs. Go out and find this third man! they say, the witch hunt’s not over yet!
The only problem is that by turning this into a debate over internet anonymity, these idiots are only showing how completely out of touch they actually are. Ignore, for a second, the double standards at play. Ignore who’s driving anti-anonymity efforts on the internet. Just think about what the internet would be like without retarded-looking screennames that are completely unpronounceable and based on fantasy characters. You can’t do it. No internet user under the age of thirty-five has any interest in seeing anonymity taken apart. It’s an attack on one of the cornerstones of internet culture—in fact, it’s the only thing holding together the loose collection of subcultures known as “internet culture”.
But these people are upset because they can’t regulate speech on the internet. Stop liking what I don’t like! They’re children.
We’ll see how this unfolds. CNN is basically toast, unless they radically restructure their management and business objectives. Retractions aren’t good enough, and they always get buried anyway.
Maybe Trump will revoke their White House press access. One can hope.