When a video purporting to be of a malfunctioning voting machine in Pennsylvania showed up earlier today, a pair of web-savvy CNN reporters were hot on the case, looking for assistance from the Reddit community in confirming the veracity of the video. That is some well-intentioned, shoe leather journalism…that went about exactly as well as you might expect. It probably didn’t help that the two reporters in question go by the handles CNNkyle and CNN_eric, a fact that opened the door to a lot of South Park jokes, and that’s just for starters.
CNNkyle and CNN_eric do have some luck, garnering assistance from folks who seem like they’re genuinely trying to help them navigate the thread, but most people are just trolling them relentlessly, leading us to suspect that CNN reporters might not find themselves all that welcome in the wonderful world of Reddit, a fact which will prove shocking to exactly nobody, ever. Especially with the Kyle and Eric handles, which, really, are just softballing it in — I mean, at that point you are opening the door for a wide variety of riffs on the theme of maximum_me’s observation “Personally, I’m waiting for CNNtoken to weigh in.” This is Reddit after all.
CNNKyle in particular did himself no favors by pointing out that his badge has seen better days, leading to a suggestion that he take it out of his pants before doing laundry. That in turn resulted in suggested headlines such as the boundlessly classy “Next on Anderson Cooper’s 360: Reddit users tell our own employees to take it out of their pants!” because of course it did.
Here’s the video that started the whole show:
Again, we should note that there is nothing funny about people potentially having their votes stolen. However, earlier this morning, we would have said there was nothing funny about the idea of Garrus calibration jokes or Reddit usernames like CNN_Zoidberg and CNN_Joffrey, too. After all, anything plus time equals comedy over the long run. One thing we can say, though — videos like this popping up this early in the day could be bad news for anyone who was hoping to have this election over and done with before the night is out. Or, you know, before Thanksgiving sometime.
- Fake accounts are kind of the backbone of Reddit, it turns out
- Seriously, CNN — media is not exactly super welcome on these threads
- That doesn’t mean they can’t be used to score some political points for candidates, though