It seems like every single day, someone connected to Trump’s administration makes yet another move to threaten or discredit the media, and recently, these attacks have become increasingly frequent and violent. After the President of the United States Tweeted out a gif of him choke-slamming a man with the CNN logo superimposed onto his head, the floodgates have burst open for the alt-right to wantonly threaten the media with threats of gruesome retaliation. This became evident when a reporter exposed that the creator of the gif also made anti-Semitic memes on Reddit and alt-right Trump supporters responded by threatening to hang, beat, and strangle the man.
Today, another internet troll with a connection to the White House took things a step further by publishing alleged personal information of major CNN employees. On Twitter, Jack Posobiec posted a list containing the addresses and personal phone numbers of Wolf Blitzer, Daniel Patrick Merica, David Chalian, Don Lemon, Brian Stelter and Erick Erickson. FWDNOW won’t be posting images of these Tweets in order to help stop the spread of invasive personal information, but the fact that Posobiec has already put it on the internet is scary enough.
When implicit threats like the one contained in Trump’s Tweeted gif are combined with personal information like the data in Posobiec’s Tweets, a clear message becomes apparent: the alt-right is unequivocally pushing its supporters to take violent actions against these individuals and their families. This is a trend that Trump started early in the campaign season when he published Republican Primary opponent Lindsey Graham’s number and encouraged his supporters to call the Senator.
Like Trump’s attack on Graham, Posobiec’s publishing of the personal data of CNN employees is disgusting, childish, and dangerous. By putting this information online for anyone to see, Posobiec has put not only the CNN employees at risk, but put the lives of their spouses and children in danger as well. The alt-right needs to understand that threatening people who disagree with them will NEVER be an acceptable or effective method of political mobilization.
If Trump were a responsible President, he would condemn this information release and urge his supporters not to attack these individuals. Instead, he has remained silent, which many alt-right fanatics will take as a tacit approval of the information leak. This crosses a line: not only is Trump indirectly threatening the media, but refusing to take steps to protect the privacy and physical safety of American citizens purely for political reasons. If you agree that this behavior is completely un-Presidential and that Trump needs to step up and disavow his grudge against CNN immediately, please like and share this message on Facebook.