Today the nation, and perhaps even the world, learned of what CNN has done in order to protect their “image.” If you are unaware of what I am referring to, allow me to illuminate the timeline. On Sunday, July 2, 2017, President Trump tweeted out a video of a WWE match in which he took part. During the match, Trump clotheslines Vince McMahon; this video was altered to the point of CNN’s logo being superimposed upon McMahon’s face. In essence, the video was illustrating Trump beating up CNN. The left and the liberal media exploded in a firestorm of accusations such as “inciting violence” and “feeling threatened.”
CNN took it upon themselves to track down the initial creator of this video. Not only did they investigate to the point of the creator’s Reddit account name, but they also took the time to discover the man’s full identity. With identity in hand, CNN threatened the man that they would release his name to the public and out him as an anti-Semite and a racist—citing his other posts—if he did not publish an apology and delete his posts.
What is so unethical about what CNN has done?
First off, I think the act of threatening someone in any way speaks for itself. Second off, the fact that CNN so candidly posted their own article about how they came to find out the user’s identity and their act of blackmailing this man is very representative of the current state of CNN—let alone liberal media as a whole. CNN wrote:
CNN is not publishing “HanA**holeSolo’s” name because he is a private citizen who had issued an extensive statement of apology, showing his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because 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.
Perhaps what is so disturbing about this statement is that the Reddit user cannot defend himself. CNN could have made up the fact that he apologized, and he can’t say anything because they are threatening to release his identity. Later in the day, CNN released a defense of their actions claiming this:
CNN decided not to publish the name of the Reddit user out of concern for his safety. Any assertion that the network blackmailed or coerced him is false. The user, who is an adult male, not a 15-year-old boy, apologized and deleted his account before ever speaking with our reporter. CNN never made any deal, of any kind, with the user. In fact, CNN included its decision to withhold the user in an effort to be completely transparent that there was no deal.
My response to this is simple: then why are you still threatening to release his name “should any of that change”? These people are immoral. It’s is not journalism, it’s extortion. These are the tactics of rising fascist regimes: silencing critics. This needs to end.
But why would the user want to remain anonymous? What’s the big deal with simply threatening to release his name? The Left is the problem. While some people wish to remain anonymous in order continue on as keyboard warriors and attack others, many people—like myself—wish to remain anonymous because they are in school or wish to lead a private life while still providing to the political or social spectrum. Nothing is wrong with that. However, CNN is very aware that the unhinged leftists—the far leftists—exhibit sociopathic tendencies. Example: James Hodgkinson (the shooter of Rep. Steve Scalise) and Antifa. CNN knew that the release of this man’s name would result in the leftists ultimately threatening his safety; hence, they included in their defense of their actions that they did not release his name out of “concern for his safety”…yet they still reserve the right to release his name.
As a side note, before I finish, I’d like to point out something that I haven’t heard anyone talk about yet: isn’t it strange that the liberal media is very militant in protecting their “anonymous sources” (who seem to only give damaging information about President Trump), yet are—apparently—very apt to releasing the names of anonymous critics? Just a thought.
To close, I’ll leave you with this takeaway: CNN’s actions set a very dangerous precedent for those in the sphere of social media who wish to remain anonymous. Should someone post something else that CNN doesn’t like in the future, will that person be hunted down and threatened as well? CNN is effectively perpetuating the sentiment that it is okay to silence critics, to extort those holding opposing viewpoints, and the First Amendment only applies to those who agree with their message. This is a dark time for journalism and a dark time for American politics. Where are we headed, America?