CNN sparked a backlash Tuesday night after threatening to identify the Reddit user who claimed to have created a meme of Donald Trump body-slamming the CNN logo that the president later shared on Twitter.
CNN targeted Reddit user HanAssholeSolo because he took credit for the video and apparently had a history of making racist and anti-Semitic remarks online.
CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski opted not to identify the user “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 then added that “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change,” seemingly indicating that CNN would identify the user if he repeats his “ugly behavior” on social media. That sentence was widely interpreted as a threat. Kaczynski, who disputed that characterization, seemed especially upset that the Reddit user “was someone who shared an image of CNN reporters’ face with Stars of David next them.”
Kaczynski stated that the Reddit user’s public apology came after CNN identified and reached out to him. An email to a CNN spokesperson was not immediately returned.
News aggregator Matt Drudge quickly highlighted the story on his site, the Drudge Report, captioning it: “CNN Declines to ID Because He’s ‘Taken Down All Offending Posts.”
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