On Sunday, President Trump tweeted a .GIF that portrayed him body slamming an anonymous CNN logo, thus escalating his beef with the Atlanta-based news network from a battle of words to a battle of memes.
Since POTUS tweeted the video, the Internet has memed the conflict into oblivion.
CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski obtained the identity of the reddit user who originally posted the .GIF.
Kaczynski wrote that, “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 only agreed not to release the user’s identity on the basis that he does not “repeat this ugly behavior on social media again,” implying they would have released the Redditor’s identity had the individual not shown remorse.
This has grown into a major point of contention within the Reddit community, and currently the top comments attached to CNN’s article — numbering more than 21,000 at the time of publication — are trashing the embattled news outlet.
One of the top comments, written by user “Riff_Randell“, encapsulated the sentiments of many in the reddit community.
“If CNN is so adamantly against Trump’s fear mongering tactics, why would they do the same and deliberately scare the shit out of this dude and his stupid wrestling meme? I mean, does anyone really think this meme was meant to incite violence against the media? It’s wrestling. A fake sport. Seriously, this is beyond nuts.”
Another Redditor “Arntor1184” elaborated further, “This is totally CNN trying to flex it’s muscle on some lowlife Reddit troll in some weird attempt to discourage future trolls and it disgusts me to no end. This is the kind of shitt that should be sounding off alarm bells in the public’s head. Where does a multi billion dollar media conglomerate get off funding a witch hunt on a private citizen for being mean to them.”
While CNN protects the identity of the multitude of “anonymous sources” leaking information from the White House, the threat to out the original poster of the meme’s identity has individuals on both sides of the aisle crying hypocrisy.
Redditor “tipsy statistic” posed that, “If the situation was reversed and Fox News Doxxed someone for making fun of Trump in a gif, Reddit would (rightly) freak out. It’s the top story on CNN.com right now. Some kid made a gif. Wtf.”
Clearly the concerns here go far beyond partisanship as one Redditor “anevilpotatoe” summarized, “Privacy advocates should take this as a war call. It’s now more than ever that our rights and peace of mind are diminishing online. This is concerning beyond doubt.”