Tucker Carlson said CNN's controversial decision to hold on to and not reveal the identity to the pro-Trump Reddit user responsible for the Trump-CNN wrestling meme because of past racist internet posts is tantamount to blackmail. Carlson said it is blackmail because what if the guy attacks CNN in the future.
Carlson said it is blackmail because if the now unidentified person wants to attack CNN in the future they will have his personal information and could use that as leverage.
"CNN... quote, "decided to not publish the name of the Reddit user out of concern for his safety." But that turned out to be [a]... problematic explanation since the network had already announced that if the naughty internet guy in question ever got naughty on the internet again, for example, I don't know, by criticizing CNN, then they would release his name, which, by their own description, might imperil his life which, to a lot of people, seemed pretty much like blackmail," the FOX News host said.
Carlson said CNN has appointed themselves as the morality police and likened the news organization's behavior to a religion.
"When did CNN become a law enforcement agency or religious order? Since when is it CNN's job to police the internet for immorality?" he asked.
"To spare punishment in return for repentance. Maybe they will start selling indulgences next," Carlson said.
From Carlson's monologue on the Wednesday edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight on the FOX News Channel:
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, good evening, and welcome to TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT. We hope to be off the twitter beat by now. Since there is actual news happening in the world. But there was a development in the President's ongoing feud with a certain cable news outlet that we felt was revealing enough to bring you details of tonight.
Remember that professional wrestling video the President out the other day, the one with the CNN logo superimposed on the face of a villain? How could you forget that? Well, we interrupt this broadcast for some breaking news, because CNN had its own crack investigative team working through the night to hunt down who made that seconds-long piece of tape because nothing is more important than that. In the end of course they found out, let them explain what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CNN ANCHOR: -- Posted his apology after CNN identified and tried to contact him. He apologized for some of his other posts that were racist and anti-Semitic. CNN is not publishing the user's name because of his apology, his removal of all the offensive posts, and his pledge not to repeat this behavior on social media.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, there is a lot to unpack here. First, one of the biggest news organizations in the world spends a ton of money and a ton of time trying to find out who made this video. Now, you probably do not care who made it because why would you care? Some guy in the internet crashing him is not that important. But CNN felt it was vital. Why did they feel that way? Because in politics, all dissent merits a response, even if it was a joke. Whatever it takes to beat your opponent, in this case, Trump, is worth doing.
So, this is oppo research opposing his journalism. Then there is a question of this guy's name, CNN is keeping it secret. Why are they doing that? Well, as you just heard them explain, because the man in question has apologized and promised he will never do it again. Wait a second. When did CNN become a law enforcement agency or religious order? Since when is it CNN's job to police the internet for immorality.
To spare punishment in return for repentance. Maybe they will start selling indulgences next. That was just the first explanation for why they are withholding the name. CNN later knows that it has quote, "decided to not publish the name of the Reddit user out of concern for his safety." But that turned out to be an even more problematic explanation since the network had already announced that if the naughty internet guy in question ever got naughty on the internet again, for example, I don't know, by criticizing CNN, then they would release his name, which, by their own description, might imperil his life which, to a lot of people, seemed pretty much like blackmail.
Do as we say, or we will hurt you. News organizations don't typically make threats like that ever. So it was a tough day for CNN today. One of their morning show anchors may have come up with the simplest answer of all -- let social media decide what to do about this guy's identity. Twitter, the perfect form for thorny moral questions. Here is the quote. "Should CNN reveal the name of the Reddit user who made Trump wrestling video?"
That's a tweet from Chris Cuomo, quote, "Had a lot of bigoted and hateful material on page and website." Okay. So, releasing this guy's name would endanger his safety, but then again, he's got, quote, "bigoted and hateful material" on his website, so maybe he deserves it, you decide, citizens of Twitter, spare or kill him. Your call. This is getting grotesque. You were all better off when CNN stuck to wars and hurricanes and missing airplanes.