Snubs, Plantations, and Liberal Dreams: The Worst of CNN's MLK Anniversary Coverage
This week, CNN provided extensive coverage of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington, hosting many of the original civil rights activists for interviews. The appearances became chances for Democrats to shill for liberal policies, and sometimes the rhetoric descended into the ridiculous and inflammatory.
Here are the five worst moments from CNN's coverage Saturday through Wednesday:
Tim Scott? Why Invite Him?
On Wednesday's The Lead, USA Today columnist DeWayne Wickham scoffed at the notion that Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the nation's only black senator, should have been invited to the March on Washington. "And he should have been invited to speak for what reason?" Wickham demanded of the Republican senator. "He's one of 50 senators. And he's appointed, not elected." (H/T Mediaite)
Praising "Resilient" Marion Barry and His "Incredible Tenure"
D.C. councilman Marion Barry (D) served jail time for drug charges in 1990 in between two mayoral terms, but CNN's Fredricka Whitfield lauded his "incredible tenure" and framed his past in quite a friendly light.
"[D]oes it frustrate you or bother you that forever there's always going to be that association with that drug bust in 1990," she asked the ex-mayor. "Is there a way in which I guess to really explain to people or help people understand that kind of rebound, that kind of resilience that you ultimately do represent?"
Showering the "Love" on Liberal Icon Jesse Jackson
An interview with Jesse Jackson turned into a fawn-fest on Wednesday as CNN's Don Lemon and Crossfire co-host Van Jones effused praise for the former Democratic presidential candidate.
"One of the best speeches I've ever heard was 1988, are we lying? At the Democratic National Convention. I listen to that speech all the time when I need inspir – 'I am somebody'," Lemon quoted Jackson's 1988 DNC speech.
"1984, your conception of the Rainbow Coalition is now the governing coalition of America," the liberal Jones lauded Jackson's progressive agenda.." Lemon turned to Jackson, "Whoa. Look how much love you're getting."
Gay Rights the New Civil Rights?
On Monday afternoon, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux teed up Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) to push for "equal rights for same-sex couples":
"But we also heard something very similar and very common among your speech, Attorney General Eric Holder, Martin Luther King III, all of you talking about equal rights for same-sex couples. For everyone. Is that something that you see as a new fight in the civil rights era? A new front if you will?"
Congressman Lewis answered that "you cannot, in a society, in a
democratic society, under the law, have equality for some and not for
all....So if two individuals, two males or two females fall in love and
want to get married, it's their business and no government, no state
government, no federal government should tell someone who they can fall
in love with and get married."
When Malveaux pressed if "Dr. King would agree with that today?" Lewis responded that " I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with me today."
Cornel West Decries the 'Obama Plantation,' CNN Hosts Don't Challenge His Rhetoric
Liberal professor Cornel West hit President Obama from the left on Sunday's New Day, and when CNN's Brianna Keilar asked him if the "modern civil rights movement" needs a "figure head," he answered that Al Sharpton is, for better or worse, that man:
"Reverend Al Sharpton, we witnessed yesterday the coronation of Reverend Al Sharpton as the house Negro in the Obama plantation. What I mean by that is, given the kind of MSNBC production, it was almost kind of an Obama propaganda in a certain sense, he's elevated in that way."
The New Day hosts didn't call him out for his "plantation" rhetoric, although liberal CNN contributor LZ Granderson had brought it up the month before. CNN did dig up two year-old video of Republican Allen West's "plantation" remarks and ask if it was hurting the present-day GOP, though.