The hashtag “#CNNBlackmail” might not just be a social media trend. In fact, if Ted Cruz is right, it could be the sign that a crime has been committed.
The Texas senator called out the news organization over Twitter after more details of their investigation of the man behind the Trump/CNN wrestling meme came out.
CNN apparently obtained the personal details of the Reddit user known as HanA**holeSolo and, as its original statement indicated, the decision not to share his personal details was in part contingent on an apology.
“CNN is not publishing ‘HanA**holeSolo’s’ name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed 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,” CNN said.
“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.” (Emphasis ours.)
That part struck a lot of people as something akin to blackmail — demanding an apology in return for not doxxing (or revealing the personal details) of an individual. However, according to The Daily Wire, the network later said they “decided not to publish the name of the Reddit user out of concern for his safety. Any assertion that the network blackmailed or coerced him is false. The user, who is an adult male, not a 15-year-old boy, apologized and deleted his account before ever speaking with our reporter. CNN never made any deal, of any kind, with the user.”
Of course, that didn’t come across quite so well when they said they reserved “the right to publish his identity should any of that change.” According to Ted Cruz, that’s where they may have broken the law…
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