On Monday evening and Tuesday morning, the same CNN that largely ignored actual links earlier this year between Democratic members of Congress and Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan did find time to highlight examples of white supremacists who cheered for Republicans to retain the U.S. Senate in the midterm elections.
CNN Tonight host Don Lemon even repeated his suggestions that white men pose a disproportionately high danger to the country when, in fact, the opposite is the case.
At 11:27 p.m. Eastern, the CNN host introduced the segment:
New questions tonight about the reach and influence of white supremacists following the midterm elections. While the fate of the Senate seat in Florida hangs in the balance, Nazi sympathizers are cheering that the Senate will remain in Repubicans' hands. They see this as a win for President Trump and a means to push their race war forward and its agenda of hate.
He then ran a pre-recorded piece by correspondent Sara Sidner, which recalled online examples of white supremacists advocating for Republicans to be successul in the elections in which the extremist groups employed bigoted imagery and rhetoric.
After noting the successful reelection of Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King, Sidner continued: "Both King and President Trump deny they are racist or enable white supremacists. Trump pushed back at a recent press conference when asked if the Republican party was seen as supporting white nationalists because of his rhetoric."
After a soundbite of Trump denying culpability, Sidner then added: "But purposefully or not, the President speaks a language racists and neo-Nazis embace -- like his habit of linking immigrants to crime."
After a clip of Trump from his June 2015 campaign announcement speech, the CNN correspondent continued: "The Government Accountability Office says right-wing extremists are responsible for the vast majority of deadly terror attacks in the U.S. since 9/11."
After recalling that white extremists reacted favorably to Trump calling himself a "nationalist," Sidner concluded: "Critics of Trump's rhetoric believe his reluctance to reign in the radical side of his base has only empowered them -- their hateful agenda gaining speed."
Then, appearing live in studio with Lemon, Sidner recalled that she had spoken with KKK and neo-Nazi members and stated that they see Trump as a "great white hope" for their agenda. After conceding that they also complain about the President not being "racist enough" for them, she then ironically seemed to attribute the expression "browning of America" to white racist groups as she added that members state that, "when they hear his words, it sounds exactly like words they use in their group settings when they talk about especially immigration, the browning of America. That phrase is used a lot."
But her own news network has a significant history of using the phrase "browning of America" as if it were accepted, mainstream terminology, so her fixation on the phrase seems odd.
After Lemon followed up by asking if law enforecment had "underestimated" the danger of white nationalism since the 9/11 attacks, Sidner recalled former FBI agents who argued that law enforcement has "missed the mark" by not focusing more on right-wing extremists.
Host Lemon followed up by lamenting:
When you read the numbers, you give the truth, people still get upset because they don't want to hear it. They don't believe, when you talk about terrorism and radicals, they don't want to believe that it's actually white American men who can be responsible for most of it. What is that?
As she responded, Sidner again seemed to attribute the expression "browning of America" to white supremacist groups as she recalled that such extremists also target law enforcement for not doing more to prevent the "browning of America."
Back in a pre-taped segment on October 30, Sidner did mention Farrakhan, but only footnoted him in a segment that, like this one, harped on the GOP. She summarized Farrakhan as someone who's been "accused of anti-Semitism for years" and has "continued to tweet and make inflammatory statements."
It is also noteworthy that liberal commentators and sometimes anchors on MSNBC have utilized the expression even more than CNN has.