CNN's obsession with Trump wrestling GIF may get it in trouble
CNN faced widespread backlash Wednesday for seeming to imply the network would reveal the identity of the Reddit user who made an anti-CNN, Trump-themed GIF if he reneged on an apology – but some critics suggested the network also could have a legal problem on its hands.Regardless of the legal consequences of their action with respect to the funny GIF, their reputation appears to have taken another hit if the reaction on Twitter and Facebook is any indication. It could be argued that the alleged GIF maker would have been subjected to hatred, contempt, and ridicule by those who hate President Trump.
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took to Twitter to cite Georgia state law’s prohibition against “theft by extortion.”
“Troubling. I assume CNN's lawyers are examining GA § 16-8-16 Theft by extortion. If CNN constructively obtained the gif-maker's IP...it's a GA crime if they threatened to ‘Disseminate any information tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule....’” he wrote, citing a portion of the statute.
WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange also claimed on Twitter that CNN may have violated various state and federal laws related to “coercion” and the First Amendment.
CNN, however, has adamantly defended its handling of the story, issuing a statement Wednesday saying the network did not publish the user’s name out of concern for his safety – and calling any assertion that the network blackmailed him “false.”