CNN is being highly criticized for hosting avowed white nationalist Richard Spencer, The Hill reports.
The segment on Jake Tapper’s “The Lead” covered neo-Nazis’ support for President Donald Trump’s racist attacks on four Democratic lawmakers of color.
Spencer said Trump was playing a “con game” and his attacks were not racist enough.
“He gives us nothing outside of racist tweets,” he said. “And by racist tweets, I mean tweets that are meaningless and cheap and express the kind of sentiments you might hear from your drunk uncle while he’s watching [Sean] ‘Hannity.'”
Joan Donovan, director of the Technology and Social Change Project at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center, said CNN did not “understand that Spencer was trying to position Trump as a moderate and to mock other white supremacists who supported Trump.”
“Spencer was saying that Trump was performing racism on Twitter, but that his policies do not go far enough to be considered support for white supremacists goals.”
Splinter reporter Sophie Weiner said the credulity given to Spencer by CNN “and the lack of context with which his comments are presented, is totally mind-boggling. Spencer wants a new Holocaust (a supposedly “peaceful” one) that would drive all non-white people out of the U.S. and create a white ethnostate in its place.”
“As people know, I’m close to a free speech absolutist,” former CNN senior digital producer Steve Krakauer tweeted. “I don’t think Richard Spencer – or anyone, unless they are actively advocating violence – should be banned from Twitter. But you don’t have to give them a platform on a cable news network. And you shouldn’t.”
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