“Hacked!” is what anyone would say who sent an ill-advised tweet and then thought better of it afterward, right? It was Anthony Weiner’s initial defense after Andrew Breitbart exposed him for sending crotch shots to women fans. The toaster is still loyal, Weiner joked at the time, insisting that his Facebook account had been hacked too.
He’s in prison now.
The tweet this morning from Cooper’s account is gone but here’s a screenshot. Catnip for the right’s many, many millions of CNN-haters:
That’s his official account, rest assured, not a parody. CNN’s brand is based on the idea that, unlike Fox, they don’t do opinion; they’re “objective” news from top to bottom and Cooper’s their biggest star. Sean Hannity could easily get away with tweeting something like that at a Democrat, but CNN’s 8 p.m. guy taking a swing at the president in front of nearly 10 million followers? Nuh uh. Big problem, and a gift to Trump insofar as he’ll cite it forever after as proof of the network’s bias.
But Cooper didn’t send it, CNN insists:
This morning someone gained access to the handle @andersoncooper and replied to POTUS. We're working with Twitter to secure the account.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) December 13, 2017
Cooper himself claimed a hacking before deleting the offending tweet:
just woke up to find out someone gained access to my twitter account. i have not sent a tweet in days or replied to any tweets. We are looking into how this happened.
— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) December 13, 2017
Whom to believe? It’s hard to fathom that Cooper would be so jazzed by Doug Jones’s win that he’d risk a PR nightmare for himself and his employer for the sake of a single tweet dunking on the president, only to hurriedly walk it back a few hours later. It’s not even a good tweet! If you’re going to blow a hole in your network’s pretenses to objectivity, would you really do it for something as piddling as that? Cooper has covered literally hundreds of Trump controversies over the past few years without managing to show his stripes as obviously as he appears to do here. It’s not crazy to think he really was hacked.
But riddle me this. How often do you see a celebrity account hacked where the hacker does nothing except tweet once, and the tweet isn’t off-the-wall? It wasn’t profane; it didn’t contain porn; it wasn’t spam with a link to some gambling or spyware site. The “hacker” had commandeered an account that suddenly gave him an audience of 10 million people and the only thing he wanted to do, apparently, was tweet at the president. Once. And because the tweet was in the form of a reply, unless you follow both Cooper and Trump on Twitter, you wouldn’t even have seen it in your own timeline.
Does that make sense? If you went to the trouble of somehow hacking CNN’s cable feed and momentarily had all of their viewers watching you on your webcam, would you say nine words about Trump and then just walk away?
What really happened here?