In case you missed it, while most Americans were enjoying the holiday weekend and celebrating patriotism, CNN was on the attack. No, it wasn’t going after President Trump or conservative leaders. This time, CNN was threatening a private citizen… simply because the left-wing media giant didn’t like what the person posted online.

Last week, Trump tweeted a GIF that made national news, because it had the appearance to Trump “beating up” CNN (as represented by a man with the CNN logo as his head). As a result, CNN decided to go after the person who created the image, apparently to make him an example of what happens if you make fun of the untouchable media.

The person who created the animation is known as “HanA**holeSolo” on the popular Reddit website. CNN tracked him down and forced him to issue an apology. On Tuesday night, when fireworks were being launched across the country, CNN’s massive headline on its website was not about America’s Independence Day, but rather how it tracked down the Reddit user.

Reddit user “HanA**holeSolo” first shared the GIF last Wednesday of Trump pummeling a wrestler with CNN’s logo imposed on his face. CNN could find no earlier instance of the GIF. The GIF was later edited into a video with sound and tweeted by the President on Sunday.

On Reddit, “HanA**holeSolo” took credit for inspiring the tweet. Soon after, “HanA**holeSolo’s” other posts on Reddit, some of which included racist and anti-Semitic imagery, quickly circulated on social media.

Now the user is apologizing, writing in a lengthy post on Reddit that he does not advocate violence against the press and expressing remorse there and in an interview with CNN.

The backlash against CNN for going after a private citizen for what that citizen accurately describes as “satire” has been intense. The International Business Times notes that Twitter users “including WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange criticized CNN’s approach on the issue. Twitter users have also been using a hashtag called ‘CNNBlackmail’ on the posts to criticize the network’s stance on the issue.”

The story issued by CNN is really quite remarkable… and scary. It includes this telling section of “journalism”:

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.

So what if this private citizen wasn’t sufficiently remorseful to CNN? I guess outing him and subjecting him to threats is ok? The actions by CNN are nothing less than a threat! If you blaspheme the media god, you will be subject to retaliation. That is the message CNN is sending.

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