This, gentle readers, is what happens when the self-imagined intellectual and moral elite lose all sense of responsibility and restraint. This is what happens when they think themselves infallible. This is what happens when they think themselves unaccountable. This is what happens when they allow their natural arrogance and smugly unsupportable, boundless self-regard to run wild. This is what happens then they use their public trust to pursue private, political vendettas. This is what happens when they can no longer detect a spark of humanity in others. This is CNN.
The most recent CNN debacle began when President Trump posted a tweet containing a brief satirical video, a video not produced by Mr. Trump or anyone in his administration. It’s a decade old clip of a wrestling match where Mr. Trump body slams Vince McMahon, the head of the WWE. However, the producer of the video altered it, superimposing a CNN logo over McMahon’s head. Heh.
The media, particularly CNN, went berserk:
It’s the end of the world! Trump is advocating violence against reporters! This is an assault on the First Amendment and freedom of speech! It’s emboldening foreign terrorists! Impeachment! And those were some of the more rational squeals of horror from our media betters.
However, almost immediately, rational people began to push back:
The video was simply a funny bit of satire. As a teacher of English, I often explain to my students the reality that some people are unwilling to get satire. The effect is magnified when such people have a political agenda, and have sworn a blood oath to destroy the target of their ire, as CNN has obviously done with Mr. Trump.
When one has to explain comedy, it tends to become unfunny, but for the benefit of the folks at CNN who had their senses of humor removed, and who take themselves oh, so very seriously:
Wrestling is theater. It’s not real. Vince McMahon and Donald Trump–who was not the president then–set up their little bit of wrestling choreography. I’m sure they practiced it beforehand. It’s partially funny because Mr. Trump is not a wrestler and is not known for his physical prowess. It was a joke.
The altered video Mr. Trump simply extended the joke in another direction. Mr. Trump was body slamming–figuratively–CNN. The point: Mr. Trump is defeating and embarrassing CNN in particular and the media in general.
Please excuse me, gentle readers, as I take a moment to directly address the virtue signaling thugs at CNN:
The original, unaltered video of Donald Trump body slamming Vince McMahon was funny because it was absurd. It featured the unexpected–Donald Trump, of all people, appearing out of nowhere–delivered with a surprise twist: Donald Trump, of all people, body slamming the head of the WWE. That was funny to people of normal intelligence, people who would not, for a moment, think it represented real violence, or that Donald Trump, or anyone involved, was advocating actual violence against anyone or anything. It was as cartoonish as actual cartoons which feature all manner of violence, none of which is real, none of which advocates real violence. Even little children understand that. Why don’t you?
The altered video was funny because on top of everything I’ve just noted, it featured an additional surprise twist: the imposition of a CNN logo over McMahon’s head. My 16-year-old high school students–denizens of flyover country, and what’s worse, the deep South–would get that in a second. They would understand the video was making fun of you, of CNN. They would not, for a moment, think the video in any way referred to the First Amendment, freedom of the press or of speech. They would not, for a moment, think President Trump was advocating violence against the press, or anyone else, for that matter. They might say: “Trump’s kicking CNN’s ass!” which was the point of the altered video, and the unedited truth.
Considering that, what’s wrong with you? Why can’t you understand what 16-year-old Texans immediately, clearly comprehend?
By the way, gentle readers, the tweet has gone viral. A few days ago it was already the second most popular tweet in history. By now, it may have hit number one.
But that wasn’t bad enough. CNN used all of its considerable resources to run down and intimidate the person that produced the altered video:
CNN claimed the “offending posts” were racist and anti-Semitic. Considering CNN’s inability–or refusal–to understand some of the most obvious satire ever produced, one might wish to take their claims of racism and anti-Semitism at something less than face value. Notice too that CNN now has a “right” to police the Internet and to threaten, even blackmail, anyone whose contributions to the public blogosphere it does not appreciate.
The backlash against CNN’s threats was so immediate and overwhelming CNN posted a new version of the threat in which they magnanimously said they would not publish the person’s name for the sake of his safety.
So. CNN uses its vast resources to find and intimidate a citizen. They threaten to expose him to scorn and ridicule, knowing that doing so would endanger his safety–actually, they endangered his safety–and when they got caught acting like the dim-witted thugs they so obviously are–“dat’s a nice little life youse got dere. Be a shame if anyting was ta happen to it”–tried to virtue signal their moral superiority by saying “Ooops! Never mind! We’d never endanger the safety of anyone whose safety we’ve endangered.”
Oh, and CNN, when WikiLeaks is accusing you of being unethical…whew! There is much laughter and rejoicing in the White House these days.
And if things couldn’t get any worse for CNN, Senator Ted Cruz let them have it, via the Federalist:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said CNN may have broken the law in threatening to publicly expose the person who created a GIF of Donald Trump appearing to beat up a man with a CNN logo for a head.
After the president tweeted out the GIF last week, CNN has been on a warpath to hunt down the creator and make him pay. In an article published Tuesday, entitled ‘How CNN found the Reddit user behind the Trump wrestling GIF,’ Andrew Kaczynski had this to say about why the network decided to keep his identity under wraps.
The law Cruz cited (GA § 16-8-16) states that it is a crime to unlawfully obtain property from another person by threatening to ‘disseminate any information tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule or to impair his credit or business repute.”
CNN, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, may have violated that law when it threatened to publicly identify the Reddit user — thereby subjecting him to hatred, contempt, and ridicule — unless he apologized and promised to never disagree with or be mean to the TV network again.
In addition to potentially violating the law, CNN may have also violated Twitter’s terms of service, which stipulates that threats are considered ‘abusive behavior,’ which is strictly forbidden.
‘We do not tolerate behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice,’ Twitter’s rules stipulate.
Interestingly, CNN may well have violated federal law too. And Ted Cruz, who was roughly treated by Mr. Trump during the campaign, demonstrates something the moral lilliputians at CNN are incapable of displaying: adult temperament.
Remember, gentle readers, how CNN and the rest of the press screamed in indignation when Mr. Trump suggested they’re the enemies of the American people? All, it seems, one need do is poke a bit of fun at them, and they prove, beyond any doubt, Mr. Trump is right.
CNN: our (im)moral watchdogs, shooting themselves in the foot again.