CNN's Pereira: Dolezal Has 'Told A Lot of Lies;' 'Appropriating...A Culture'

On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Michaela Pereira criticized former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal for her false narrative about her race: "To a lot of people, it's as though she's just appropriating a lifestyle, a culture, a racial identity. And the fact is, she's told a lot of lies about other things." [video below]

Pereira and Chris Cuomo both countered their co-anchor Alisyn Camerota, who gushed over Dolezal's interview on NBC's Today: "What a fascinating conversation! I mean, this is mind-blowing; and, of course, provocative stuff. Isn't it interesting...to live in a time when people are identifying themselves – I think of Bruce Jenner with transgendered issues – and now, her with transracial issues...they identify themselves as different than as we see them. That's an interesting proposition."

The three CNN hosts gave their take on the Dolezal issue immediately after their morning show played an extended clip from the NBC interview. Camerota first gave her "fascinating" and "interesting" reaction to the controversial figure. Pereira replied that Jenner and Dolezal were "very different," and continued with her "appropriating a lifestyle" contention about the former NAACP leader.

Cuomo agreed with Pereira, and underlined that the Dolezal controversy was "about subterfuge and hiding and dancing around it by saying – well, it was the press accounts that said I was trans-race – whatever that means." Camerota interjected, "Is it; or is it just that we're more accustomed to what Bruce has gone through hat we've never seen anything like this before?" Pereira replied that "clearly, this is a young woman who's struggling with identity, and it does make me terribly sad that she's struggling with that, and I hope she finds some answers for herself."

The transcript of the exchange between Camerota, Pereira, and Cuomo from Tuesday's New Day on CNN:

ALISYN CAMEROTA: What a fascinating conversation! I mean, this is mind-blowing; and, of course, provocative stuff. Isn't it interesting, Chris – who's giving me the hairy eyeball-

CHRIS CUOMO: Yeah-

CAMEROTA: To live in a time when people are – are identifying themselves – I think of Bruce Jenner with transgendered issues – and now, her with transracial issues, as she calls them-

PEREIRA: I think they're very different-

CAMEROTA: I mean – but listen: it's – they – they identify themselves as different than as we see them. That's an interesting proposition.

PEREIRA: This is the first time that we've heard her say that, because I don't know that to be true. I'd like to know more about that – because, to a lot of people, it's as though she's just appropriating a – a lifestyle, a culture, a racial identity. And the fact is, she's told a lot of lies about other things that we've – about her family-

CUOMO: Yeah. Bruce was – Bruce was dealing with something very openly as a man-

PEREIRA: Right-

CUOMO: That he didn't feel – he wanted to be different. He wanted to be something else. This is about subterfuge and hiding and dancing around it by saying – well, it was the press accounts that said I was trans-race – whatever that means. And then, it went black-

CAMEROTA: I mean, is it; or is it just that we're more accustomed to what Bruce has gone through-

PEREIRA: I don't know-

CAMEROTA: That we've never seen anything like this before?

PEREIRA: Clearly, this is a young woman who's struggling with identity, and it does make me terribly sad that she's struggling with that, and I hope she finds some answers for herself.

CUOMO: Fascinating and interesting are other words for bizarre and strange. And somebody who wants to be something is open about that. It doesn't come only out when they're caught-

PEREIRA: That's an interesting point, too-

CUOMO: That's part of the dynamic here.

CAMEROTA: Maybe. But I mean, this is the first time we've heard her speak. So it's – I think – very interesting to hear her rationale for all of that-

PEREIRA: Or her narrative – it's hard to say-

CUOMO: I don't know if we actually heard it-

PEREIRA: Yeah. That's a good point-

CUOMO: She just says it's 'complex'. I think 'complex' is getting out of the situation.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan was a news analyst at Media Research Center