CNN went with “something remarkable…happened” in its Wednesday morning reporting on its KFile team tracking down the Reddit user who originated the GIF President Donald Trump used to bash the cable news network on Twitter.
“CNN found the Reddit user who created the GIF of Donald Trump…where he punches CNN,” New Day’s Alisyn Camerota reported on the network’s New Day. “And then, here comes the remarkable part: he apologized for having done this,” she beamed.
By remarkable, she meant CNN’s I-team agreed not to include the identity of HanA**holeSolo in its report about tracking him down, but said it reserves the right to identify him in future reports, should Mr. A**holeSolo ever repeat his “ugly behavior on social media.”
Not everyone was so pleased as Camerota with the outcome. Donald Trump Jr. and Julian Assange are among those calling it “blackmail,” “extortion,” etc., after #CNNBlackmail trended Tuesday night on Twitter:
On Monday, the Redditor who had boasted he originated the CNN-bashing GIF suddenly apologized for same after learning CNN knew who he was.
CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski reported Tuesday night HanA**holeSolo pleaded with the network not to reveal his identity, saying he is scared for his personal safety, and because, he said, it would embarrass him to be outed as the person behind the GIF, as well as his various anti-Semitic and racist Reddit rants.
“HanA**holeSolo” initially boasted he originated the GIF behind Trump’s tweet in which Trump is seen pounding on the head of a man whose face has been swapped for the CNN logo. He first shared the GIF last Wednesday; CNN reported it found no earlier instance of the GIF that subsequently was edited to add sound before being tweeted by Trump on Sunday.
After Trump’s tweet, “HanA**holeSolo” took a victory lap, via Reddit: “Holy s—!! I wake up and have my morning coffee and who retweets my s—post but the MAGA EMPORER himself!!! I am honored!!”
CNN’s KFile identified the man, using information he posted on Reddit and Facebook, and reached out to him on Monday. On Tuesday, he posted a lengthy apology on the subreddit /The_Donald, in which he said he admires and respects the press and all of mankind, and deleted his other offensive posts. Moderators of /The_Donald subreddit took down his apology.