Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Why CNN vs. Reddit Shitposter Matters

To whom much is granted, much is expected.

Rightfully, for a free republic based on liberty, the Founders put the press and free speech right up front. It is the result of the hard fought intellectual battles to base our nation on the best lessons learned from prior republics. As anyone with a passing knowledge of The Federalist Papers and the gloriously rough and tumble press and pamphleteers of the first decades of our republic knows, it came about largely by people working under pseudonyms or straight up anonymous.

A lover of freedom accepts these untidy, messy, and occasionally nasty bits of the marketplace of ideas as a feature, not a bug. They are the fine grit that gives you the creative friction you need for a free society to function.

Respect for and defense of such players in the information ecosystem from both those giving and receiving a broad spectrum of criticism is a baseline requirement to be seen as a productive member of a free and functioning system of intellectual liberty.

There is always in the background an authoritarian tendency with people in powerful positions. Indeed, our Bill of Rights and Constitution are largely constructed to institutionalize barriers and speedbumps to power and abuse of power by those who have it.

It isn’t just the people who have political power who become addicted to it and develop a junkie’s paranoia and insecurity about access to it; you see the same in industry and civil institutions. Power and money always bring out the worst in people. It finds a person’s weakness and amplifies it; pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, sloth – human history is little more than a story of the 2nd and 3rd order effects of power leveraging human weakness.

CNN is a global behemoth wielding power in the Informational domain greater than most nation states. It also has tremendous impact in the Diplomatic and Economic domains. With such power comes much responsibility – especially for an institution that only has its power due to the efforts of anonymous writers and pamphleteers over two and a half centuries.

As such, the following story is beyond disturbing.
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.
As of this AM until about 10am, CNN still had this as their top story. In the face of the backlash it appears they are trying to let it pass and have let it fall off the front page – though still available. Like some tin-pot dictator taking pride in burning a village full of serfs, they are proud of their abuse of power.

In a civil society, punching down in such a way is just not done by anyone claiming the high ground.

In the media ecosystem, CNN is a top predator. A Reddit poster is somewhere right above a commenter or a blog like mine. Between CNN and a Reddit poster are, in ascending order; twitter users, contributors to group-blogs, individual bloggers, writers for online magazines, podcasters-internet radio, online video producers, internet media outlets, local media, talk radio, national cable news, network news, international news outlets.

Look how far CNN is punching down. Some schmuck posting on Reddit threatened with his job & safety for just making a silly gif focused on WWE. It threatens no one, insults no mature person, and otherwise would just be one of a million shitposted gifs if POTUS didn’t find it funny.

This is the network that couldn’t figure out how Donna Brazile fed Hillary questions, but they can dig up this on a Reddit Shitlord?

Why? Simple. CNN is acting like an insecure, petty tyrant. It isn’t just the vile Kaczynski that is the issue, corporate CNN let this run above the fold for a full day. It would be one thing if Kaczynski & CNN realized they stepped over the line and corrected (no one is perfect, even your humble blogg’r has retracted and apologized), but this is different.

When I stopped watching the news I grew up with, CBS, after Dan Rather went after Bush41, I shifted to NBC until they became unreliable, and by the mid-90s, ABC. They lost me when I found CNN to be more balanced. That had been true until the last decade where, with few exceptions, it has now become a pathetic shell of itself, feeding off the professional capital that a younger Ted Turner built.

Until there is a major change at what was once the premier news outlet, they should be looked at as little more than a less unhinged InfoWars.

Why does this matter to some bottom feeding milblogg’r such that it takes up space here? If you don’t know the answer yourself, I don’t think I can help you at this point.

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