CNN has found itself in yet another ethics scandal, and this time they can’t blame James O’Keefe.
The network is being shredded by viewers and journalistic ethics after it admitted threatening an anonymous private citizen who criticized them online.
It could be the worst ethics violation in CNN’s dirty history.
When President Trump last week tweeted out a short video last week mocking CNN, network officials, executives and personalities reacted with almost-psychotic rage.
In the video, an altered clip from “Wrestlemania,” Trump clotheslines and begins punching World Wrestling Entertainment founder Vince McMahon. The creator of the clip superimposed the CNN logo over McMahon’s head, making it appear Trump had “taken down” CNN.
The incident was choreographed and scripted for the cameras. In real life, Trump and McMahon are longtime friends.
But to CNN, it’s still real, dammit. The network declared the joke video a violent “threat” and obsessively reported on it.
That obsession reached a peak yesterday, when CNN reported its investigators traced the video back to a Reddit user under the name “HanA**holeSolo” (expletive deleted.) He apologized to the network for creating the video and promised to never offend them again.
“The Reddit user who initially claimed credit for President Donald Trump’s tweet that showed Trump tackling CNN issued an apology Tuesday for the video and other offensive content he posted — one day after CNN identified the man behind the account and attempted to make contact with him,” CNN gleefully reported.
Why did he apologize? Here’s where it gets downright sleazy.
“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 reported.
“CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change,” the network ominously noted.
In other words, they tracked down and targeted a private citizen because he criticized them, and then threatened to publish his personal information should he ever criticize the network again.
Journalism experts and viewers were horrified by what could be the greatest breach of journalistic ethics in the troubled network’s long history of misconduct. As of Wednesday morning, the #1 trend on Twitter was “#CNNBlackmail.”