Well, it finally happened. CNN has come out in opposition to the First Amendment.
On Monday, Inside Politics fill-in host Jim Acosta and internet blackmail enjoyer Andrew Kaczynski took turns scoffing theatrically that Donald Trump had dared object to the prosecution of a private citizen for posting a meme. The defendant in question was one Douglass Mackey, who posted an anti-Hillary Clinton meme (pictured to the right) on his Twitter account in 2016 under the name Ricky Vaughn.
The prosecutors seeking to jail Mackey for wrongthink claimed that, following his posting of the meme, around 4,900 people texted the number provided. However, they were unable to find a single person who hadn’t voted as a result of his tweet.
Guess which part of that story Kaczynski left out in his report.
“They say at least 4,900 people texted this number,” the KFile reporter exclaimed, adding:
Now, Mackey and the Trumps have sort of claimed this is a joke that no reasonable person would believe, but prosecutors allege this is part of a much more sinister plot to deprive people of their right to vote.
Again, Kaczynski didn’t mention the part where prosecutors couldn’t prove that even a single individual had failed to cast a vote after seeing Mackey’s tweet. Context be damned, these two men were determined to convince all fourteen of their viewers that Mackey belonged behind bars for literally carpet bombing Our Democracy.
Acosta then threw in this deal sweetener, in case any rogue audience members still weren’t totally comfortable with jailing a man for posting an image not he internet: “And Andrew, there’s more to it than just the text-to-vote scheme right? Mackey was notorious for posting anti-semitic and racist memes.”
Indeed, some of the stuff Mackey tweeted was downright indefensible. But one would hope that any journalist — the real kind, not the CNN kind —would defend aggressively the right of any person to express whatever sick opinions he wished. Instead, these two self-styled “journalists” tried to justify Mackey’s political persecution on the grounds that he had harbored some odious political opinions.
The segment then morphed into a political hit job, with Mackey recast as a cudgel. “So, now that you have heard and seen some of that stuff, take a listen to what Donald Trump, Jr. said about him when he had a Ricky Vaughn, Douglass Mackey, on his podcast earlier this year.”
Then came a clip of Trump Jr. telling Mackey his account was “awesome,” and calling it his “favorite Twitter account of all time.”
It’s hard to be surprised by the news media anymore. They’ve worked pretty hard to prove that there’s no depth to which they’re unwilling to stoop. The KFile guy has always been a censorious little creep, but it really is wild to see Jim Acosta, who shrieked like a rabbit in a bear trap back when the Trump White House revoked his press pass, vehemently defending the imprisonment of a man for sharing an image on social media.
Journalism has been dead at CNN for a long time, but today Andrew Kaczynski and Jim Acosta danced on its grave.
Click “expand” below for a full transcript of the segment:
CNN's Inside Politics
12:46 - 12:50 p.m. Eastern
JIM ACOSTA: Some new reporting from CNN’s KFile, Donald Trump and one of his sons have been defending a former social media influencer who has a history of posting the most offensive, racist, and anti-semitic tweets we have ever seen. CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski dug deep into this one. Andrew, great work as always. What did you find?
ANDREW KACZYNSKI: Yeah that’s right, Both Donald Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. have been defending and praising a man with a history of racist and anti-semitic tweets, who was convicted in March of interfering in the 2016 election. His name is Douglass Mackey. He went by the pseudonym Ricky Vaughn on Twitter, that’s where he posted this meme, which prosecutor said suggested that people vote for Hillary Clinton by text. They say at least 4,900 people texted this number.
Now, Mackey and the Trumps have sort of claimed this is a joke that no reasonable person would believe, but prosecutors allege this is part of a much more sinister plot to deprive people of their right to vote. He was convicted in March and sentenced in October. He is currently out on — while his appeal goes through the justice system.
Let’s flash forward to today, and Donald Trump is claiming this is an example of Joe Biden’s Justice Department going after his supporters for attacking their free speech. Take a listen to this.
DONALD TRUMP: Crooked Joe and his henchmen have tried to shut down free speech with a massive government censorship operation to silence critics. They are putting Douglass Mackey in jail for sharing a joking meme about Hillary Clinton seven years ago. Nobody ever heard of anything like that.
ACOSTA: And Andrew, there’s more to it than just the text-to-vote scheme, right? Mackey was notorious for posting anti-semitic and racist memes. What can you tell us?
KACZYNSKI: Yeah, that’s right. That’s what’s so interesting, is he was prosecuted or investigated by Trump’s own Justice Department. He was charged just one week into Biden’s new administration.
And the content that he shared on his Twitter account was some of the most racist, anti-semitic contact we have seen. We can’t even show really any of it on air because it is so offensive. He regularly used the n-word where he called black people feral. He shared anti-semitic propaganda that was reminiscent of Nazi Germany. There was a post where he joked about having a cake baked that said “gas the Jews,” using a slur with a symbol for “hail Hitler.”
Take a look at this tweet right here. This is, again, one of the only ones we can show on air, where he says that, “the Jews fear that Donald Trump is Hitler because they have known they have done great evil in America, they fear justice will be done.” He wrote that in December 2015, and it’s not like this stuff was hidden, Jim. This was why this account was popular, this was everything that was really on his feed day in and day out when we were looking through it.
So, now that you have heard and seen some of that stuff, take a listen to what Donald Trump, Jr. said about him when he had a Ricky Vaughn — Douglass Mackey — on his podcast earlier this year.
DONALD TRUMP, JR.: You had an awesome account. It may be my favorite Twitter account of all time. Now, I’ll get in trouble for saying that, ‘cause they’ll say, “Oh he said something once that you must disavow.” It was hilarious, okay? Again, like I said, maybe the best of all time. But how did you get into the idea of that account? How were you able to grow a large following that put you on the radar of these people?
KACZYNSKI: So, we reached out to Mackey’s attorney. We also reached out to the Trumps, we didn’t hear back from them. Mackey’s attorney tells us that, “He regrets the tone and substance of these posts.” He said they don’t reflect his current view or the person he’s been the last several years, but they did tell us that he’s grateful that Trump, and his son, and thousands across the political spectrum have rallied to his case, which they say is an important issue about protecting the First Amendment rights of all Americans.
ACOSTA: Gosh. Just awful, awful stuff. All right, birds of a feather, I guess. Andrew Kaczynski, thank you very much for that reporting. We appreciate it.