CNNBlackmail (Update)

ABC News Jul 06, 2017

Yesterday, I cited 5 news organizations that were failing to cover the CNNBlackmail story. The networks in question (and the order I’ll look at them in) are CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, NBC News and ABC News.


CNN issued a statement about its story. I don’t know exactly when, because, well, they buried it heavily on their website. To be blunt, I had to find fragments of the statement through other news sources. Searching for the first line:

CNN decided not to publish the name of the Reddit user out of concern for his safety

On the site, produced one result (CNN). The headline of that story? “Trump says election meddling ‘could be Russia’ but ‘nobody really knows for sure'” Seriously, a fucking CNN statement is buried in a story about President Trump and Russia.

Why was it included in that story?

Trump, standing next to Duda, also slammed American media, particularly CNN and NBC.

Trump, as he has done many times before, criticized CNN as “fake news” after being asked about CNN’s coverage by David Martosko of the Daily Mail.

Trump’s critique — which came during his first formal press conference in nearly a month — came in response to CNN’s coverage of the video the President tweeted that showed him body-slamming a man with the CNN logo over his head.

Please, note: that story doesn’t include the full statement. It’s just a quote in response.

A billion dollar propaganda network refuses to publish their own spokesman’s words. CNN is worse than very fake news.

Washington Post

The Washington Post has one story about it (via WaPo). Honestly, it’s not a good article by my standards of fairness. But, by the Washington Post standards, it’s a gem. Although, it’s one article and video… the Washington Times had two articles when I made my first post… And, there’s no mention of the potential legal problems.

New York Times

The New York Times had 2 original articles about it (first, by Daniel Victor, and the second, by Kevin Roose). Another short article (based on Roose’s) was written by Pui-wing Tam. And, one more…

The first one defends CNN.

Andrew Seaman, the ethics chair of the Society for Professional Journalists, said in a blog post that tying the source’s anonymity to future behavior was odd, but not unethical.

“Journalists should support the open and civil exchange of views, but their role is debatable when they try to police good conduct on other platforms,” he wrote. “Additionally, where would these types of agreements with sources end? Would journalists agree not to identify a thief because he or she promised never to steal again?”

The second one quoted Julian Assange (who tweeted at least 4 times about potential legal violations):

“A multibillion dollar TV network blackmailing a private citizen into not making funny videos about it is not journalism, CNN,” tweeted Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

But, not in the quote they chose. This is because, in this rebarbative column, Mr. Roose paints CNN as the victim from those big bad internet trolls.

But in instances where the meme-making community finds itself facing off against a clear antagonist, its tactics can be swift and brutal, and can catch large institutions off guard.

In these communities, a feud with CNN over the identity of a Reddit user provided a perfect storm of hot-button topics: speech policing, journalist ethics and the perceived bullying of right-wing sympathizers on social media. The fact that the media organization in question was CNN, which has been singled out for criticism in recent weeks by the Trump administration, only added fuel to the fire.

The fourth story that covers CNNBlackmail is a profile of Jeff Zucker.

So, the New York Times set out to defend the indefensible. Also, like the Washington Post, there’s no mention of legal issues.

NBC News

They continued to ignore the story.

Although they did cover the original tweet.

ABC News

See: NBC News. They continued to ignore the story.

Like NBC, they did cover the original tweet.