We Are Outraged Over the Outrage About the Outrage

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

I don’t know. No matter what we say, maybe we all like having a reality-TV president:

What’s this all about? Well, you remember the dumb video that Donald Trump posted on Sunday? The one where he’s body slamming a wrestler whose head has been replaced by the CNN logo? We all decided to get outraged over that. This was dumbness level 1.

Then we tracked down the origin of the video. It came from someone named HanAssholeSolo on the alt-right reddit sewer r/The_Donald. It turned out that Han had also posted some inane anti-semitic memes, so we all decided to get outraged over that. This was dumbness level 2.

Then CNN tracked down the actual person behind HanAssholeSolo. Unsurprisingly, it turned out to be some dude who had been acting out and was terrified at the prospect of becoming national news just because our president was stupid enough to retweet his stuff. So CNN decided not to publish his name “because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again.”

However, CNN also said it “reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.” This sounded like a threat, so we all decided to get outraged over that. This was dumbness level 3.

Is there anything we won’t use as an excuse to get outraged? Trump’s tweet was puerile, but it was just a joke, not a call to violence. HanAssholeSolo is an idiot, but he’s just one of millions of individual idiots, not someone with any power or influence unless we give it to him. And under anything but the most hostile reading, CNN obviously wasn’t threatening anyone. They were just covering themselves: If it turned out that Han was playing them, they were under no obligation to maintain his anonymity.

Not that it matters. If CNN can track this guy down, so can someone else. He’ll be viral on Twitter before long no matter how abjectly he’s apologized.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate