“A guy creating silly gifs”

This is the “respectable” version of #CNNBlackmail:

There’s some truth in it, but it’s incomplete.

One, it’s not exactly the giant corporation with endless money and power that’s going after guy creating silly gifs, it’s one reporter for that corporation who researched and wrote about guy creating silly gifs.

Yes, the reporter works for the giant corporation with endless money and power, of course, but then that tends to be how market-based journalism works. Do we recoil from investigative journalism by the New York Times because the Times has (less than endless) money and power? Sometimes the capitalist ties and/or the social power may shape what’s reported or investigated for the worse, but that’s not just automatic.

Two, it wasn’t really a matter of “going after” the guy creating silly gifs. It was a matter of finding out who he was and why he created the meme, which was worth knowing because of the use of the meme by the president of the US to bully the giant corporation. That’s rather important.

Three, the guy is not just a creator of silly gifs. He’s a creator of harshly racist content and part of a social media movement of harshly racist and misogynist content-creators. It’s not just “silly.”

Four, the reporter himself and his family are receiving death threats.

Five, the most important item Dave Rubin left out: CNN isn’t just any old giant corporation, it’s a significant branch of the free press, the free press that is under constant, relentless, dishonest, malevolent attack from the head of state.

Again: it’s true that in many ways it’s unfortunate that CNN is both – a giant corporation and a significant branch of the free press. That’s the reality, though, and I think the Twitter libertarians should keep it more in mind. It’s just not the case that there is only one bully here and CNN is it. CNN itself is being bullied daily by someone who has more untrammeled state power than any other person in the country. It may be true that the reporter shouldn’t have talked about the gif-maker’s identity and CNN’s ability to make it public if it chose to, but that’s not a good reason to distort the facts of the matter.

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