Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” host Tucker Carlson attacked CNN for its motivations in finding the maker of a GIF image file tweeted by President Donald Trump over the weekend showing Trump pummeling a WWE CEO Vince McMahon’s body with a CNN logo superimposed over it in his opening monologue.
According to Carlson, it was CNN’s view that “all dissent in politics warrants a response,” even if it was a joke, he added. He went on to say what CNN was doing could not be deemed journalism, but instead “oppo research.”
Transcript as follows:
Well, there is a lot to unpack here. First, one of the biggest news organizations in the world spend a ton of money and a ton of time trying to find out who made this video. Now, you probably do not care who made it because why would you care? Some guy on the Internet, crushing him is not that important. But CNN felt it was vital.
Why did they feel that way? Because in politics, all of this dissent merits a response, evens if it was a joke. Whatever it takes to beat your opponent, in this case, Trump, is worth doing. This is oppo research posing as journalism. Then there is this guy, his name, CNN is keeping it secret? Why are they doing that? As you just heard them explain because the man in question has apologized and promised he would never do it again.
Wait a second. When did CNN become a law enforcement agency or religious order? Since when is it CNN’s job to police the Internet for immorality? To spare punishment in return for repentance. Maybe they will start selling indulgences next. But that was just the first explanation for why they are withholding the name.
CNN later announced that it had decided to not publish the name of the Reddit user out of concern for his safety. That turned out to be more problematic explantion since the network already announced that if the naughty Internet guy in question ever got naughty on the Internet again, for example, I don’t know, by criticizing CNN, then they would release his name, which, by their own description, might imperil his life, which to a lot of people seemed pretty much like blackmail.
“Do as we say, or we will hurt you.” Conventional news organizations don’t typically make threats like that ever. So it was a tough day for CNN today. One of their morning show anchors may have come up with the simplest answer of all — let social media decide what to do about this guy’s identity. Twitter, the perfect form for thorny moral questions.
Here is the quote: “Should CNN reveal the name of the Reddit user who made Trump wrestling video?” That is a tweet from Chris Cuomo. Quote, “Had a lot of hateful and bigoted material on page and websites.”
OK, so releasing this guy’s name would endanger his safety, but then again he’s got “bigoted and hateful material” on his website. So, maybe he deserves it. You decide, citizens of Twitter, spare or kill him. Your call. This is getting grotesque. We are all better when CNN stuck to wars, hurricanes and missing airplanes.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor