After a hellish week that included a retraction, three resigned journalists, and a slew of videos that painted it in a far less than positive light, CNN took one more hit in the form of a tweet from President Donald Trump.
That tweet — which quickly led to criticism, outrage, and a fair bit of pearl-clutching and hand-wringing — inspired CNN to do a little digging and uncover the meme’s originator.
The outlet tracked it to a Reddit user, and after speaking to him, it published the following statement:
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.
Many took that statement at face value, believing that CNN had essentially blackmailed a private citizen in order to get him to stop posting jokes that made it look bad.
Comedian Rob Schneider, who has been rather critical of CNN in recent weeks, responded by essentially blackmailing CNN right back:
CNN is biased,fake,lies,distortions,fake sources & a blackmailer.
I reserve the right to watch your network again should any of that change.
— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) July 6, 2017
Your move, CNN.