The Establishment Media’s Mission: Police The Public
CNN’s bad publicity is continuing into July after the media giant sparked internet outrage after threatening to reveal the man behind the famous WWE meme featuring President Trump.
While the rest of America was celebrating our Day of Independence, CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski was busy tracking down the Reddit user “HanAssholeSolo,” who superimposed the network’s logo on a WWE opponent who got body-slammed by Trump. (RELATED: CNN Draws Backlash After Threatening To ID Reddit User Behind Trump’s WWE Video)
Kaczynski eventually found the terrifying menace to the public, but declined to reveal his identity because the alleged offender apologized to CNN.
The CNN journalist explained that the decision was made, “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.”
But Kaczynski added, “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.” The message here is that CNN will dox the meme maker if he have ever makes fun of the network or posts material reporters find offensive again.
No wonder the hashtag #CNNBlackmail became one of the top trending topics in the world after the article was published.
Kaczysnki tried to defend his article at first by referring to an anti-Semitic meme shared by HanAssholeSolo, implying that was enough justification for the threat. Then the CNN staffer decided to embrace his inner hostage taker by bringing in the threatened Reddit user himself to claim the article was great.
“FYI ‘HanAssholeSolo’ just called me.’I am in total agreement with your statement. I was not threatened in anyway,'” the reporter tweeted.
He then got the Reddit user to issue a warning to other offending meme makers in a succeeding tweet. “I hope it does serve others as an inspiration to stop,” he added.
Well we all know we can expect a random person who faces the possibility of life ruination from a mega corporation to be honest in defense of said corporation.
This story touched a nerve with many people because it exposed a disturbing side to the establishment media — America’s biggest press gatekeepers are more concerned with policing the public than informing it.
With North Korea launching an intercontinental ballistic missile, a health care bill vote looming, more chaos in the Middle East and a host of other pressing issues affecting the nation, CNN decided the most important story is the president tweeting a humorous video of him body-slamming the network.
Of course, it isn’t something John F. Kennedy or Abraham Lincoln would have done while in office, but it wasn’t the terrifying threat of violence against journalists that CNN and other outlets made it out to be.
Remember, it was an edited video of a CNN logo falling victim to fake wrestling, not a call to arms for journalists to receive a clothes-lining.
But that asinine interpretation began reigning over media discussion of the topic, which, shockingly, helped the narrative that brave reporters are under attack in America thanks to Trump. Thus, “HanAssholeSolo” — a man who has no real connection to Trump, isn’t anywhere close to power and did not ask for his video to be picked up — became enemy No. 1 to CNN.
CNN knew that just revealing his name would make him unemployable for life and unleash a tsunami of public humiliation. That’s how they got him to apologize and display him as a warning to all online Trump supporters. “If you make fun of us or have opinions we don’t like, we will ruin you.”
How the average American is better informed by knowing HanAssholeSolo’s identity is not a question that seems to matter to CNN.
In spite of all the rhetoric of journalists acting as courageous servants of the public, the behavior shown by CNN this week is all too typical for members of the media class. They seem more interested in shaming private citizens for “wrong” views than they do about informing them.
There are a number of examples showing this motivation.
There is the infamous case of Justine Sacco, a PR professional who became the victim of an internet lynch mob after she tweeted a joke that was perceived to be racist. Journalists happily piled on to make sure she lost her job and earned the scorn of millions of people. All because of an off-color joke.
More recently, there is the man who was shamed by a plus-sized model over private texts on an airplane. Reporters and outlets covered the story like the woman engaging in harassment is the hero, while the man — who made sure to express his thoughts — in private is the villain. Even your iOS messages aren’t safe from journalistic scrutiny.
Another example is that of Nicholas Dean, a highly regarded principal of a New Orleans second-chance school, who lost his job after reporters declared him a Nazi for displaying a crusader cross and Spartan insignia at a Confederate monument demonstration. (RELATED: Principal Fired After Attending Confederate Protest Speaks Out)
The private citizens who become victims of media shaming don’t even have to be those who espouse views contrary to progressive orthodoxy. Take beloved internet legend Ken Bone. After Mr. Bone became famous overnight for his quirky attire at a presidential debate, some journalists decided to do a deep dive of his internet history. They managed to find his porn interests, and quickly publicized it to the world.
All this humiliation because Bone became an internet meme.
Journalists know they wield terrific power to ruin the lives of people without much history on Google. Just one article can make sure a private citizen has trouble finding employment for life. CNN was fully aware of this in how they treated the meme maker. They also seemed very proud of how they brought him down.
The establishment media is presently demanding more respect and trust from the public. Every mainstream journalist wants the public to believe the president is undermining the free press by holding off-camera press briefings and taking questions from conservative media. They originally supported the crusade to eradicate “fake news” when it was directed against new media, but then pulled back from it when they became the targets of the charge from Trump and his supporters. (RELATED: ‘Fake News’ Outrage Is All About Restoring Power To Elites)
They want to remain the gatekeepers of information in order to set the boundaries of what views are acceptable. They don’t serve the public — they serve the their own class of the urban elite. That’s why they turn private citizens into scapegoats for progressive opprobrium. They need examples to let the public know what happens to people who go outside those boundaries and challenge the power of the urban elite.
Unfortunately, there are now a lot of alternatives for news and information outside of the establishment media — thanks to the internet. Now everyone can see when CNN tries to intimidate the little guy, and choose to turn elsewhere to learn about today’s events.
Follow Scott on Twitter and purchase his new book, “No Campus for White Men.”