President Donald Trump inspires a range of emotions. This is especially true when he is trolling his political opponents, who look silly when they overreact. In some cases, they look dangerous and deranged, harming themselves much more than they harm Trump with their criticisms. Let this be a political lesson: Responding in a reasonable manner is fine, but becoming unhinged is not fine.
When Trump tweeted an altered GIF of his appearance at WrestleMania a decade ago, the reaction was swift: Some people criticized Trump’s tweet as for being childish and for demeaning the office of the President. While I thought the reaction to a funny GIF was overblown, these criticisms do have merit. Had the criticisms stopped there, CNN and its defenders could have “won” the argument with the President. They did not.
First, they overreacted rhetorically, with laughable claims that Trump “endorses violence against journalists” and that Trump ” is going to get somebody killed”. Now you have just made fools of yourselves by overreacting to a silly GIF from a decade-old professional wrestling event.
But CNN did not stop there. They made it much, much worse.
CNN actually blackmailed the anonymous Reddit user who created the meme by threatening to “out” his real name, exposing him to threats, harassment and maybe even violence. By engaging in that bullying – which is far worse than Trump’s silly WrestleMania post – CNN permanently lost all credibility to whine about Trump or anyone else “bullying” them.
Think about this for a minute. A multinational corporation actually threatened, blackmailed and bullied a private citizen because he posted a silly GIF on Reddit. That is astonishing. This is not the President feuding with the media. This is a power imbalance between bully and victim so extreme it should be appalling to all good and decent people. How can anyone defend this depraved and perverted behavior by CNN? They have completely humiliated and degraded themselves with this unconscionable cyberstalking.
It is reasonable to criticize the President, both on his policies and on his childish personal behavior. It is not reasonable for a huge multinational corporation to blackmail, threaten and intimidate a private citizen for posting a meme. What about this very simple concept is so difficult for CNN to comprehend?