[Update, Wednesday, 1:40 pm Eastern: Even left-wing Salon is going after Cuomo's faulty take on First Amendment case law.]
CNN's Chris Cuomo made an eyebrow-raising argument about the First Amendment in a Wednesday post on Twitter. Cuomo replied to a post that decried that "too many people are trying to say hate speech (isn't equal to) free speech," and claimed that "it doesn't. hate speech is excluded from protection. don't (sic) just say you love the constitution...read it."
As you might expect, many conservatives blasted the CNN anchor (who has a law degree) for his dubious assertion about free speech.
Cuomo then sparred with his critics, and repeatedly cited the 1941 Supreme Court case, Chaplinsky vs. State of New Hampshire, that found that the First Amendment doesn't protect obscenity and fighting words.
Understandably, as the Tweet he responded to concerned a segment on his CNN program, New Day, about the recent terrorist attack on a Mohammad cartoon contest event in Texas, many Twitter users thought he was talking about the free speech controversy surrounding that event. However, Cuomo contended that he wasn't remarking about that incident, and struck back at the conservatives who responded to him:
However, the critics weren't buying his explanations, and kept up the pressure on the journalist:
In the 1969 Brandenburg case mentioned above, which dealt with Ku Klux Klan leader Clarence Brandenburg, the Supreme Court struck down an Ohio law that violated the First Amendment's protections of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. It established the "imminent lawless action" test for speech that is deemed inflammatory.