Appearing as a panel member on Friday's New Day on CNN, The Beat D.C. managing editor Tiffany Cross claimed that MAGA supporters are to blame for people perceiving them as racist and violent, and fretted that the media have been too apologetic toward them in the aftermath of the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax. As liberal CNN contributor Van Jones thought her analysis was unfair to Donald Trump supporters, he still ended up smearing them by claiming they treat blacks the way Smollett and Cross treated them.
Co-host Alisyn Camerota began the segment by wondering if there is now a "rush to judgment" against Smollett in contrast with him being given too much credibility earlier on, leading Cross to complain that the story is getting too much attention.
The Beat D.C. managing editor also suggested the media should not be apologetic toward Trump supporters: "It feels a little bit misguided at this point that it has all of our attention. I think, you know, it almost feels like the pendulum swing like, 'Oh, we're so sorry, MAGA supporters. We falsely identified these people.'"
Cross -- a frequent guest on MSNBC's AM Joy who has recently been appearing on CNN as well -- then painted MAGA supporters as violent as she added: "You know, there are a lot of evidence of violent incidents that happen at these rallies, and I just don't want to get, you know, have Jussie Smollett distract from that."
She recalled a couple of cases of violence at MAGA rallies, and then complained: "And so when we have all this attention on Jussie Smollett, it almost feels like there's this effort to extend this mea culpa to people who are, in fact, saying very deplorable and ugly things at these rallies."
After CNN co-host Alisyn Camerota jumped in to push back that "it was too broad of a brush stroke to denigrate all MAGA supporters," Cross doubled down as she responded: "I don't know. I mean, I've seen a lot of what happens at these MAGA rallies. I don't know if you've seen some of the signs and the comments that they say."
Cross admitted that Smollett's story has "holes," but then suggested MAGA supporters do not deserve sympathy as she concluded:
I don't think this is the time for everybody to say, "Oh, my gosh, so sorry, you guys. Who would have ever think that of the MAGA crowd?" There's reason -- where there's smoke, there's fire. There was smoke there at these things. I'm not giving him a pass. I'm just saying there's a reason why people were willing to believe it.
Jones argued that she was being unfair to MAGA supporters as he responded:
The one thing you want if you are going to have a justice movement that is credible is not to lump everyone into the same category and say, 'Well, your whole category, your whole class is suspect. 'So therefore even if somebody says something that's not true, eh, it's not that big a deal because your whole class is suspect.' That's what they do to black people.
A bit later, Cross further blamed MAGA supporters for people perceiving them as racist. CNN contributor Nischelle Turner asked: "Didn't he (Smollett) attempt to paint MAGA supporters as these racist and homophobic people?"
Cross jumped in: "I have to respectfully disagree. I think MAGA supporters have painted themselves as that. I mean, when you look at footage, when you hear things they say, this is the honest to goodness truth, and we have to be bold enough to call that out."