CNN, MSNBC Push Myth Trump Urged Death Penalty for Innocent Black Teens

February 10th, 2018 2:04 PM

On Friday night, during coverage of the resignation of White House aide Rob Porter over spousal abuse charges, CNN's Anderson Cooper, MSNBC's Katy Tur and MSNBC's Jonathan Alter were not content to just complain that President Donald Trump sounded too sympathetic to Porter, but they even had to inject suggestions of racism into the discussion by bringing up debunked claims that Trump used an ad to demand the death penalty for black teens who were actually innocent. 

Additionally, Cooper and Tur both coincidentally contradicted themselves the same way by suggesting Trump only defends white men accused of abusing women, but also recalled that he spoke sympathetically about Mike Tyson as neither seemed to notice that the former boxing champion is black.



At 8:36 p.m. ET on Anderson Cooper 360, after noting Trump's reaction to Porter, CNN's Cooper recounted: "He has similarly defended Bill O'Reilly and Mike Tyson -- nothing about the women. High praise, though, about the alleged predators."

The CNN host then suggested that the President has been inconsistent in defending some men accused of violence toward women but not others. As he brought up the Central Park Five rape case, Cooper vaguely commented that "you can draw your own conclusions" about why the President has had a double standard. Cooper:

The President, it turns out, is a remarkably understanding and forgiving guy when it comes to alleged abusers. Now, there are some exceptions -- and you can draw your own conclusions about them. In the '90s, he took out full-page ads calling for a return of the death penalty, specifically for the five young black and Hispanic men accused of brutally sexually assaulting a jogger in New York's Central Park, the Central Park Five.

Without noting that even the Ken Burns film that was devoted to defending them admitted that they were guilty of "beating up other people," the CNN host added:

And even after the so-called Central Park Five were exonerated after they spent years of their lives in prison -- and exonerated, I should point out, by someone else's confession and actual DNA evidence, Mr. Trump has refused to change his belief in their guilt.

Cooper then suggested a racial double standard in spite of having alluded to the Mike Tyson case earlier: "But. by and large, if you're a man accused of mistreating a woman -- at least a white man -- the President of the United States is quick to point out their claims of innocence."

A few hours later at 10:14 p.m. ET on MSNBC's The Last Word, substitute host Katy Tur and contributor Jonathan Alter also brought up the Central Park Five and the race issue:



JONATHAN ALTER: In the past, this is a man who, when there were some young men arrested in Central Park for beating up a women, Central Park Five case, he took out a full-page ad in New York newspapers calling for the death penalty for them before they had even been charged --

KATY TUR: African-American men and Latino men.

ALTER: African-Americans. Turned out later they were totally innocent -- somebody else confessed to the crime.

But, about 20 minutes later, Tur contradicted herself on race as she brought up Trump speaking sympathetically about Tyson. Tur: "This is not a new thing. Listen to how Donald Trump described Mike Tyson in 1992."