That’s what might be inferred from this BuzzFeed story. According to BuzzFeed’s analysis, the CNN–WWE GIF that President Donald Trump tweeted last week was not the same as the one created by HanA**holeSolo.
However, the GIF used by Mr. H.A. Solo is quite similar to the one tweeted by the president. Given the similarity, and Mr. Solo’s abject apology, he’s not the wrong guy by much.
What happened, according to BuzzFeed, is this:
Someone downloaded the GIF that HanA**holeSolo originally posted to Reddit. Then that person cropped it to better fit a video player like Facebook or YouTube. Then they (sic) went through the effort of syncing it back up with audio from the original clip. Then that person put it somewhere where Trump or one of Trump’s people could see it and download it.
I don’t think BuzzFeed’s sleuthing changes things much. Mr. Solo is no more or less culpable for creating the original GIF (I see no culpability). President Trump is no more or less culpable for tweeting it out. CNN is no more or less culpable for playing hardball with Mr. Solo.
However, if the result of the sleuthing embarrasses CNN even fractionally, I’m happy.
BuzzFeed says its revelation that the GIF came to Team Trump from another source is a big deal because it bears on “where Trump and members of his inner circle are getting their memes.” I don’t think this matters. What matters is which memes they embrace.
But then, I’m not part of the resistance, and thus don’t have to grasp at these kinds of straws.