CNN appears to be imploding. The self-induced implosion — brought on by creating fake news, being shown on hidden camera admitting that it’s fake news, and threatening to reveal the identity of a redditor who made a video meme showing President Trump punching CNN in the face — has taken a toll on ratings and may soon take a toll on advertising revenues.
While reeling from a series of Project Veritas videos showing CNN producers and commentators admitting that CNN’s reports on alleged connections and collusion between Trump and Russia are “bulls**t,” the whole Russia thing “is just a big nothingburger,” and that CNN practices selective editing to promote a false narrative to American voters who are “stupid as s**t,” the liberal news network made a decision that shows a real disconnect from reality.
On Sunday, President Trump shared the video meme. It was an edited version of a clip from WrestleMania 23 in 2007 when Trump fought WWE CEO Vince McMahon during a “Battle of the Billionaires” match. In that match, Trump slammed McMahon to the floor and punched him in the face. A user on the social news aggregation site Reddit edited the video by superimposing the CNN logo over McMahon’s face so the clip showed Trump “taking down fake news.” When Trump shared the meme — which the White House says the president did not get from Reddit — on Twitter, it went viral.
Rather than ignore the (probably) tasteless and (certainly) harmless meme, CNN — flailing about in what is beginning to look more and more like the throes of death — responded by hunting down the redditor, who had posted anonymously, and threatening to reveal his identity unless he apologized and promised never to post similar things in the future. In this, the CNN employees involved likely committed the federal crime of Conspiracy Against Rights.
And whether anyone at CNN will ever be criminally charged for the crime of using intimidation to relieve that redditor (who some believe is a 15-year-old boy) of his God-given and constitutionally protected right of free speech, the network may have to be prepared to take a hit in the revenue department. Because there is a trending movement to boycott CNN’s advertisers.
In the wake of CNN’s exposure as a purveyor of fake news, the #CNNFakeNews hashtag began trending on social media. As a result of that exposure — spread with the help of the hashtag — CNN’s ratings took a bath. In the one month between May and June, CNN lost roughly 20 percent of its viewers, both during the day and during the prime-time slot.
After CNN threatened to expose the redditor and then bragged about it in an article, #CNNBlackmail began trending on Twitter. The hashtag has been used to tag lists of CNN advertisers with many, many users promising to boycott those advertisers until they pull their advertising dollars from CNN. Many users have tagged some of those advertisers by name in social media posts promising to take their money to competitors as long as those advertisers continue to support CNN.
CNN — like all media — survives on the revenue brought in by advertising. The value of advertising is driven by hopes of a return in the form of sales. Ratings play a major part in that. CNN’s ratings have already dropped to the point that in the week of June 26, CNN dropped to 13th place in cable TV ratings — with 40-year-old reruns of Yogi Bear on Nick-At-Nite drawing more viewers than CNN’s prime-time evening shows, hosted by Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon, that air in the same time slots.
With ratings taking that type of dive and advertisers who would already be likely to seek higher-rated programming beginning to feel the pressure to pull their advertising to avoid guilt-by-association, CNN may have passed the point of no return.
Of course, given the lack of anything resembling journalistic integrity or accurate reporting, CNN’s pending demise will not likely cause anyone (except the possibly soon-to-be-unemployed folks at CNN and the liberal establishment politicians who benefit from their pseudo-reporting) to feel anything like remorse.
#CNNBlackmail is the best thing to have happened to the world since the election of Donald Trump. Indeed, it may be one of the greatest moments in the history of the internet.
Sure, on one level it resulted in weapons-grade trolling and a few deliciously funny memes; but in bigger picture terms it was something much more significant than that – a pivotal moment in the Culture Wars akin to the Persian defeat at Salamis or the German defeat at Stalingrad or the French defeat at Trafalgar.
Or maybe a better analogy would be the one I used on Sirius XM: the moment during the Second World War when, under the command of the brilliant Bill Slim, the ill-equipped, neglected British Fourteenth Army realized that the only way to beat the Japanese was to fight with the same aggression, cunning, and mobility of the Japanese. In other words, to use the enemy’s tactics against them.
Just like CNN, just like Antifa, just like the left generally, the Japanese were a horrible enemy to fight: utterly without scruples, fanatically convinced of the justice of their wicked cause, terrifying in the swiftness with which they swarmed and overran your position. By the time you knew what had hit you, you’d either be dead — if you were lucky — or tied, wounded, to a tree while the enemy got ready to use you for bayonet practice.
In the early stages of the war, the British and their fellow Allies were invariably on the back foot: how could they possibly defeat an enemy that didn’t play by the rules, that showed no weakness, that seemed more demonic than human?
Anyone who has ever seen action against the SJWs will know the feeling.
They hunt in packs; they swarm; they move as one as if controlled by some sinister hive mind; they are immune to reason; they are completely without mercy.
I give you, as but one example among many, the case of poor Sir Tim Hunt — the Nobel-prize-winning scientist whose career was all but destroyed for no better reason than the SJW hive mind demanded fresh blood.
The truth (that Hunt was the victim of outrageous misreporting by a dodgy hack pursuing a militant feminist agenda) was no defense. Nor were any mitigating circumstances taken into account — like, say, the fact that this alleged sexist Prof ha, in fact, spent his entire career bending over backward to help and encourage female scientists. Nor was the fact that he apologized for his non-crime.
All that mattered as far as the SJWs were concerned was that here was another scalp for the taking. So take it they did.
To experience these terror tactics is a demoralizing and frightening thing.
Too often the response of the right has been to feel a bit sorry for itself because it’s all so unfair. And then persuade itself that if only it keeps on making the same arguments as before then eventually logic and truth will prevail because, after all, the facts of life are conservative.
There’s at least one major problem with this response: the left isn’t interested in logic and facts — and hasn’t been for quite some time.
That was what James O’Keefe recently uncovered — not that we couldn’t have guessed anyway — with his recent sting on CNN. Here is an organization which affects the demeanor of a responsible, politically-neutral, internationally-respected news outlet with reporters and newscasters who look exactly like real ones on grown up TV channels. But underneath, its entire raison d’etre and business model is churning out leftist fake news propaganda.
If conservative media outlets like Breitbart took the same liberties with the truth as leftist media outlets like CNN (and Vox and Slate and Salon and Huffpost and the rest…) they would be crucified. But it’s no use bleating about this: we just have to accept that this is the way the world works and just get on with the business of winning.
#CNNBlackmail, make no mistake, was a pivotal #winning moment.
Why and how did we win? Partly by using the enemy’s tactics against them; partly by exploiting a few strengths of our own.
Here are some of them:
“Sorry. Not interested”
Being on the left is all about grievance, victimhood and — usually feigned — moral outrage. This was the card CNN tried playing in response to the original Trump wrestling gif. They invited us to believe that Trump’s tweet encouraged “violence against reporters.” We responded in the best way possible: by ignoring it. This may have been what infuriated CNN into making their massive tactical error of hunting down and trying to destroy the alleged creator of the gif. Had CNN shrugged its shoulders and ignored the wrestler gif, it would not be writhing in such abject humiliation now.
The left has lots of comedians, but it can’t do jokes: look at John Oliver, who, despite his lucrative gift of being able to persuade liberal studio audiences to make laugh-type noises, has never said anything genuinely funny in his life. This is because progressives are ideologically incapable of humor. We discuss this in more detail on my Delingpole podcast next week on a Special Youth Edition featuring a clever 18-year-old kid who understands the internet and memes and stuff. The reason the right is winning the internet war, he explains, is because our memes are much wittier than their memes. And the reason for that is that the left can’t do humor because they’re afraid it might hurt someone’s feelings.
Point And Swarm; Isolate And Shriek
As Vox Day explains in his invaluable SJW Attack Survival Guide, these are classic techniques used by the regressive left. Now the tables have been turned, and we are learning to use their methods against them. CNN got so panicked after the backlash hit, it had to ban all its staff from using Twitter because whatever they did or said only seemed to make things worse. SJWs can dish it, but they really can’t take it.
Another of the left’s favorite dirty tricks is to target companies that advertise with conservative media organizations — and bully them into withdrawing their funding (see Kellogg’s v Breitbart). On the right, we have traditionally been against such tactics because what you’re essentially doing is fighting against two of the things we believe in — free markets and free speech. The tables were turned when advertisers including Audi (another company, incidentally, which withdrew its advertising from Breitbart) were attacked by outraged punters demanding to know why they fund a company as toxic as CNN.
Give Them Enough Rope…
CNN is ISIS. It’s a joke but it’s also true: CNN is very much part of the axis of evil bent on destroying Western Civilization. We should never forget this — nor delude ourselves just because this particular battle involves frivolous stuff like memes of old martial arts video game characters with Trump’s head and the CNN logo superimposed on them that somehow it isn’t really important. I’m with Thomas Wictor on this one:
That attack by CNN’s sinister enforcer Andrew Kaczynski on Reddit user HanAssholeSolo was an outrageous act of overreach by the increasingly aggressive and hectoring left. It was the liberal media deciding that among its new roles is to police society’s behavior and mores in the manner of the NKVD.
Definitely one good thing to have come out of #CNNBlackmail is that the enemy has shown its true colors. But the far, far better news is that the good guys have fought back.
And the best news of all is: we’re #winning.
CNN host Michael Smerconish is doubling down on the network’s decision to publicly threaten to out an anonymous Reddit user who created a WWE-themed animated image mocking the network, a variant of which was tweeted by President Trump.
Speaking on his radio show earlier this week, Smerconish said that if he “continues to be racist, if he continues to be a bigot, if he continues to be anti-Semitic” that CNN should reveal the Reddit user’s identity.
Smerconish went on to attack internet anonymity, saying “anonymity gives people beer muscles for bad behavior.”
He also linked the newsworthiness of revealing the Reddit user’s personal information to the allegation that his animated image was tweeted by the President.
“When you promote hate in the blogosphere … you attract the president … you’re now a story, and you sacrifice any right to privacy that you otherwise would have had.”
He did not acknowledge the fact that the version tweeted by President Trump was significantly different to the one created by the Reddit user.
“They need to be reined in” concluded Smerconish. “The hate speech, the coarse dialogue has had a disastrous impact on our political conversation, and our ability to elect individuals who are willing and able to get along and get things done.”
“It’s time to rein in the bad behavior, and nasty anonymous comments are a big part of the problem — but they’re one that we can address and one that we can solve. So, in this case, I think this individual sacrificed his right to privacy. That’s my view.”
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