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While the rest of America was celebrating Independence Day, CNN kept digging its own grave.
Furious over a silly video President Donald Trump posted Sunday, the flailing network sicced Senior Editor Andrew Kaczynski on its creator. He tracked down an anonymous Reddit user who first posted the GIF of Trump tackling a wrestler whose head was replaced with a CNN logo. Kaczynski then found out the person’s real name and threatened to release it if he misbehaved again:
After posting his apology, “HanA**holeSolo” called CNN’s KFile and confirmed his identity. In the interview, “HanA**holeSolo” sounded nervous about his identity being revealed and asked to not be named out of fear for his personal safety and for the public embarrassment it would bring to him and his family.
CNN is not publishing “HanA**holeSolo’s” name 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. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.
CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.
That’s right: a Senior Editor for CNN is blackmailing an American citizen for daring to criticize them.
This isn’t Kaczynski’s first attempt at destroying a private citizen’s life. As a BuzzFeed reporter, he gained notoriety for publicizing a lame joke Tweeted by a 30-year-old PR director named Justine Sacco. As Sacco was boarding a plane from London to Cape Town, South Africa, she poked fun at many people’s poor understanding of the continent. Kaczynski decided the joke was racist and helped gin up a digital lynch mob while she was in the air for 11 hours sans internet. By the time Sacco landed, she was mobbed by reporters, was fired from her job, and had to go into hiding. [Update: Another link demonstrating Kaczynski’s role is here.]
Kaczynski’s insanity was just the latest in CNN’s string of horrible decisions related to Trump. Last week, CNN accepted the resignations of three star journalists over their retracted story falsely connecting a Trump associate to a Russian bank. Before that, CNN’s parent company helped fund a performance of Julius Caesar, in which a Trump stand-in is assassinated. In the past month, the network retracted another anti-Trump story proved false by James Comey’s testimony, fired Kathy Griffin for posing with an effigy of Trump’s decapitated head, and censured host Reza Aslan for wishing rape on a Republican congressman. Not to mention the Project Veritas videos catching CNN employees mocking Americans and admitting that the endless Russia allegations are a big nothing-burger.
For all the criticism of Trump’s self-defeating tweets, his steady attacks on CNN have provoked the network to reveal how awful they truly are. Perhaps the President can Tweet a new video in which CNN body-slams itself.