Federalist columnist Mollie Hemingway gives her take on the controversial decision by CNN to withhold the real life identity of a Reddit user who created the Trump-CNN wrestling gif if he apologized for his history of racism on the internet. CNN, however, reserves the right to out this person in the future at any time. Hemingway told FOX News she found the decision "chilling" and "threatening." She said CNN could reveal his identity any time they deem he has done something to offend the network.
"They reserve the right to ruin his life," Hemingway said.
FOX News' Dana Perino said the news organization is holding his name "hostage."
DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS: Who are they to decide, Mollie? This is what I can't understand. They get to decide if he has good behavior and they are going to basically hold his name hostage in case he steps out of line with whatever they think is appropriate?
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, THE FEDERALIST: This is what is so chilling about it. I mean leave aside whether it is really wise for a major media corporation to be so hurt by a funny meme that they track down the originator of that meme and threaten to expose them, but this line they put in there that if he publishes content that they deem -- and they didn't explain what their secret standards were -- but if he publishes any more content that they don't like, they reserve the right to ruin his life.
That's just not something that any media organization should do. That's chilling, threatening, and kind of a way to go after anyone who criticizes CNN, and that's not something that that media organization can afford at the same time it's trying to say that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are on dangerous ground right now.