WASHINGTON, July 6, 2017 — Megan LeBoeuf of the University of Rhode Island published a 2007 study, “The Power of Ridicule: An Analysis of Satire,” which says that satire
“… has the ability to point out the deficiencies in certain human behaviors and the social issues which result from them in such a way that they become absurd, even hilarious, which is therefore entertaining and reaches a wide audience. Satire also has the ability to protect its creator from culpability for criticism, because it is implied rather than overtly stated; in this way, it becomes a powerful tool for dissenters in difficult or oppressive political and social periods.”
Cable’s leader in fake news, CNN, is certainly aware of this point: The satirist is protected from “culpability” and “criticism.”
The network has been the subject of conservative scrutiny since it made the post-election decision to dedicate much of its air time broadcasting conspiracy theories about the Russians, Donald Trump, and Trump campaign officials colluding to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton.
But a CNN on-air personality and producer admitted to hidden cameras that the collusion story is a “nothing burger.”
President Trump has had a field day ridiculing CNN via Twitter, which inspired one Reddit user to cobble together a short video meme showing the combative U.S. president body-slamming a representation of CNN.
That meme went viral.
CNN and others in the news business accused Trump of inciting violence against reporters by tweeting out the meme.
Conservatives responded by intensifying their ridicule of CNN. The all-news network did not appreciate the ridicule.
CNN’s KFile investigative team discovered the identity of the meme’s creator and threatened to reveal his identity if he ever created another successful viral condemnation of CNN.
The intimidation worked.
“He [the Reddit meme creator] 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 reported.
The New York Times asked Andrew Seaman, ethics chair at the Society of Professional Journalists, to assure its readers that CNN’s intimidation of a private citizen, threatening to dox him like an Obama administration hack going after a Republican opponent, is “odd, but not unethical.”
The irony of all this certainly escapes CNN and the New York Times. Their reporters have either been fired or required to retract stories regarding the “nothing burger” Russia-Trump story—stories based on anonymous, inaccurate sources.
We have yet to learn the identities of these sources, despite the clear falsehoods they planted in the press, burning the news organizations so willing to repeat them in print and in broadcasts.
Instead, they prefer to believe the lie that millions of Americans were influenced by Russia to reject another corrupt Clinton’s bid to serve as President of the United States.
Now that is certainly worthy of ridicule.