Much as I read and use Trump's Twitter feed (because he IS the President, like it or not), the time will surely come when we realize the internet is not a news source (although it will always be a source of entertainment).
Case in point: no good deed goes unpunished on Twitter (or the internet).
CNN statement on the HanAssholeSolo story pic.twitter.com/mf2tilu9UB— Steven Perlberg (@perlberg) July 5, 2017
This, of course, is not good enough; not when there's outrage to be generated!
(1/2) Troubling. I assume CNN's lawyers are examining GA § 16-8-16 Theft by extortion. If CNN constructively obtained the gif-maker's IP... https://t.co/ChxqocuDgc— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2017
(2/2) it's a GA crime if they threatened to "Disseminate any information tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule...." https://t.co/ChxqocuDgc— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2017
Sen. Cruz is a lawyer, and knows full well there is no crime unless the elements of the crime are present. He doesn't say here that the elements of a crime under Georgia law are present but then, he doesn't have to, does he? He's not making a legal argument, he's making a demagogic argument.
And interestingly, it doesn't seem to extend too far beyond Twitter (I'm sure it's all over CNN, but then, it would be, wouldn't it?). I got this from Raw Story, which specializes in what came up on the internet in the last 10 minutes. Nothing about any of this CNN "doxxing" being a calamitous state of affairs is showing up on Talking Points Memo, or Huffington Post, Slate, Vox, or Daily Beast. It didn't make its way to NPR this evening; Trump's tweets about North Korea, but nothing about this. Huffington Post has an article about the apology, Slate has one article about CNN's statement and the outrage of Donald Trump, Jr. (CNN comes out looking better by comparison to Jr.), TPM has an article covering much the same ground as the Slate article (with less implied critique of CNN), Vox is the most critical, calling the CNN article "doxxing" (small beer, IMHO, and mostly a matter of arguing over editorial decisions)*, Daily Beast can't seem to be bothered. Nobody seems too concerned with the legal opinions of Julian Assange or Ted Cruz.
Is the language CNN used terrible language? Vox quotes it as two "alarming paragraphs":
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.
Interestingly, CNN has said this private citizen reached out to them, apologized to CNN, and had no complaint with their story. That, of course, is not good enough for the rest of us, who must decide for the accused how offended he/she should be.
Looking around, I realize most of this is a tempest in a teapot. It's an internet story being reported by the internet (mostly) with no real impact on the "real world." It is giving Donald Trump, Jr. a chance to look more and more like his father (not a good look for him), and to keep up the "pattern of circulating right-wing memes and news that’s often not thoroughly checked." In the hall of mirrors that is the internet, this is what passes for reality.
Soon enough, that reality is not going to bleed into "meatspace," but is going to spin off into it's own hermetically sealed universe that no one outside of it even knows exists. Maybe that should happen with a lot of what happens on the intertoobs.
*Since I originally wrote this, Vox has published another article providing almost too much detail about who did what when, but without really noting the apology CNN supposedly extracted from the Reddit user was published before CNN published its article with the "inflammatory" language, or nothing the Reddit user has told CNN he had no problem with their article. This continues to be an internet-only story, and as with all internet tales what matters is the outrage, not the facts.