It’s not an elegant turn of phrase. But it is, I think, the correct terminology to capture a political moment so monstrously stupid that even Jerry Springer finds it embarrassing. To shitpost, according to the scholarly journal Urban Dictionary, is to “make utterly worthless and inane posts on an internet message board,” particularly those involving memes or low-quality visuals.
And the president’s latest act of shitposting—tweeting out a video edited to show Trump wrestling, and beating up, the CNN logo—has flung the 24-hour news network into a week-long controversy involving death threats, claims of blackmail and a Reddit user who calls himself “HanAssholeSolo.” It’s very hard to imagine having to explain that sentence to a person from 2007. But frankly, it’s also pretty hard to explain that sentence to a normal person from 2017 who doesn’t spend every waking moment following incremental developments in Trump’s blustery war with the media. (Which, probably, is healthy.)
Related: Trump blocked me on Twitter for telling him he’s not as cool as witches
Now, a week after Trump’s tweet, CNN is accused of blackmailing the Reddit user behind the wrestling clip, and the network’s journalists (and even some of their families) are being subjected to threats and harassing phone calls from pro-Trump trolls and Redditors. Curiously, the line from the CNN story that was interpreted as blackmail (a stretch) wasn’t written even by the reporter. According to Gizmodo, it was added by a CNN executive as a legal safeguard, but the threatening tone proved disastrous. But as the #CNNBlackMail hashtag spread through the alt-right this week, things got ugly. “These far-right trolls are really threatening people and coming after people,” an anonymous CNN employee told The Daily Beast. “Somebody’s gonna do something stupid at some point.”