HOLDING FIRE

1. It’s Wednesday, July 5, 2017.

2. It’s the 80th anniversary of the introduction of Spam. The luncheon meat, not the email.

3. It seems as though the purveyors of Trumpian hate are angry that one of their own got skewered by CNN last night.

So many people – including the cetriolo who occupies the Oval Office – were set agog earlier this week by a video posted on Reddit. It showed Trump in his pro wrestling promotion days tackling someone whose head was replaced by a CNN logo.

How amusing! He’s really taking it to those fakers! And Trump loved it so much that he just passed it on.

But, of course, here’s the thing:

The people at CNN have names that they put behind what they do. And, as the creator of the video learned, they have lives as well – some of them, in fact, have religions that they’re proud enough to proclaim. One of his memes pointed out the folks at CNN who are Jewish, as if that was another reason to hate them.

Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper can be attacked at will. But “HanAssholeSolo” thought he could hide behind the anonymity he and others believe they have when they post bullshit online.

Oops.

When you post stuff like that, you’re fair game. CNN’s KFILE team worked at finding out who made the video and the Jewish meme. And it succeeded.

So much so that when it confronted the guy who did this, he asked that his name not be revealed. It turns out he really didn’t mean what he said, and he fears for himself and his family if he’s discovered to be that guy.

He couldn’t put his real name on what he created. Unlike Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper and everyone else at CNN.

So CNN agreed not to tell who it was. On condition that he not do it again. Otherwise, forget it.

4. The CNN haters are calling this blackmail. There’s a whole Twitter hashtag around that theme this morning.

And the reason they’re doing that is they’re terrified.

Terrified that they’re being manipulated. By people craving their attention. By people looking to exploit them, for political gain or personal fulfillment.

Trump has tried to label everything reported by legitimate news organizations as fake news. But maybe what the story behind the video shows is that when reporters like those at CNN do their jobs, they expose what’s really fake.

It must crush the hearts of the haters that the masterpiece of anti-CNN sentiment turned out just to be a stunt to get their approval. All of them, including Trump. The guy wasn’t a true believer – he was merely an attention grabber.

Because when it came time to stand behind what he did, the guy refused. Apologized and asked to maintain his anonymity.

(And, by the way, if the guy really was 15, as some of the idiots posting indicate, don’t you think CNN would have reported that, too? )

I’ve seen the e-mails some of the reporters at CNNMoney receive when they do a controversial story – it’s depressing how vile and ad hominem people can get over stories about oil prices and health care.

And here’s the thing. Most people don’t have the nerve to say the crap they say in anonymous posts to someone’s face. They would feel like idiots if they did so.

That’s not just my view.

“To people who troll on the Internet for fun, consider your words and actions conveyed in your message and who it might upset or anger,” says the guy who posted the video, writing on Reddit. “Put yourself in their shoes before you post it.

So to those posting with the #CNNBlackmail hashtag, a couple of things.

One, find out how blackmail laws work. The guy who made the video asked to remain anonymous. CNN was under no obligation to oblige, and didn’t demand money or any other form of remuneration to provide that anonymity.

Frankly, I would have loved to have seen his name all over the place. That might be a good way to tone things down in this country – seeing someone face the consequences. But I guess CNN saw it differently, and that’s fine.

Secondly, what the critics of CNN can’t prove today is that CNN got this wrong. They can’t prove this isn’t the guy who created that meme.

Which goes back to what John Adams said: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

That’s what CNN is about. You might ask if the guy you put your faith in to make America great feels the same way.

Because you people are getting played. Bigly.

Standard

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