The internet group "Anonymous" claimed to have shut down the websites of the Justice Department and FBI, but that didn't stop CNN's Amber Lyon from giving them the soft treatment. Her Friday report on the group of hackers and thieves contained no voices of opposition but allowed the group to defend its escapades.
Lyon remained neutral on the group's tactics, from reporting their "favorite weapon" of web attacks to asking how long it took them to crash the Justice Department website.
And Lyon also gave members a chance to refute labels of the group as "terrorists" and "hackers on steroids." She asked one member why he was laughing at the caricatures, and even added that "you've heard this, I'm sure, thousands of times".
The man answered that a "vast number" of the group's members are not hackers – echoing Lyon's earlier assessment of them as mostly "average Joe Americans."
A brief transcript of the segment, which aired on January 20 at 3:18 p.m. EST, is as follows:
AMBER LYON, CNN correspondent: (On-camera) Some people consider Anonymous – you've heard this, I'm sure, thousands of times – hackers on steroids. Other people call you guys terrorists – you're laughing at this, I can even see through that mask. Why do you laugh at that?
ANONYMOUS: I would say a vast number of people involved in Anonymous aren't hackers at all. Some don't even have any programming skills whatsoever. I wouldn't consider myself a hacker.
LYON: Anons say this online protest was one of their largest – and to expect more.
ANONYMOUS: Expect us.