Like Shep-Shaming? CNN's Avlon, Toobin Already Slashing New Pundit Sean Duffy On Air

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Just a few weeks after CNN's media reporters expressed disgust over on-air feuding between Shepard Smith and Tucker Carlson, CNN is engaging in on-air feuding over their newest contributor, former Congressman Sean Duffy. 

On Wednesday's New Day show, Duffy -- one of only a tiny number of actual conservative contributors who regularly appears on the mostly liberal network -- was attacked on air by CNN senior political analyst John Avlon in one of his very opinionated "Reality Check" segments. 

This follows on the heels of CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin accusing him of "insanity" and "anti-immigrant bigotry" on the same show Tuesday. Duffy was not present to defend himself either time.

At 8:44 a.m. Eastern, co-host John Berman set up the segment: "Military heroes and lifelong public servants -- that's who President Trump and his allies are attacking. As for the wisdom of that move, CNN's John Avlon with a 'Reality Check.'"

Avlon began his piece by recalling some of President Trump's attacks on his critics: "'Human scum,' 'radical unelected bureaucrats,' 'Never Trumpers' -- these are just some of the attacks Trump and his allies have leveled against those who have testified in the impeachment inquiry."

He then called it an "ugly talking point" to suggest that Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman might have personal biases about U.S. policy toward Ukraine as he was about to testify about President Trump's interactions with the country's president. Avlon: "And that was before surrogates repeated this ugly talking point about Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman."

Then came a couple of clips of Duffy from yesterday's show:

SEAN DUFFY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR CLIP #1: It seems very clear that he is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense. I don't know that he's concerned about American policy.

DUFFY CLIP #2: We all have an affinity toward our homeland where we came from.

The CNN analyst then added: "In case you missed something that had the subtlety of a sledgehammer, Sean Duffy there was questioning the loyalty of Vindman because he was born in Ukraine."

He then vaguely took a shot at Fox News as Avlon continued: "Laura Ingraham went even further, suggesting he was a spy."

It was not mentioned that Ingraham quoted a New York Times article as a source as she questioned whether it was appropriate for Lieutenant Colonel Vindman to be advising the Ukrainian government at the same time he was working for the White House.

After going through other criticisms aimed at Trump opponents, Avlon complained about President Trump defending himself against critics if they are veterans or the parents of veterans:

AVLON: Look, President Trump has a history of going after military vets who dare question him like John McCain, Gold Star families like the Khans, and Robert Mueller who was serving as a Marine when Donald Trump was suffering from bone spurs, recalling avoiding STDs as his "own personal Vietnam."

Many Republicans were upset at harsh critiques of Vindman. (Ben Shapiro just called it "stupid.")

But does CNN really want to suggest they never criticized military veterans who dare to question liberals....starting with John McCain in 2008? Try the show New Day itself on Lt. General Michael Flynn in 2016, as we recall our headline: "CNN's Gregory, Guest Blast 'Dangerous,' 'Ignorant' General Flynn."

Avlon went on to mock Duffy again because he used to be a regular on a TV show on MTV: "And here's what Sean Duffy was doing in his mid-20s when Officer Vindman was serving in Iraq -- appearing on MTV's The Real World, season 6." An image of Duffy from the TV show was shown on screen. He closed it out by dragging in Roy Cohn and Joe McCarthy. That's quite a stew for a fellow CNN employee. 

Here's the Toobin assault on Duffy on Tuesday: 

JOHN BERMAN: We are already seeing, though, some of the President's Republican allies trying to discredit today's witness, Colonel Vindman, who we will note was awarded a Purple Heart and is an active member of the U.S. military. Listen to what former Congressman Sean Duffy said right here on New Day moments ago....

TOOBIN: ....This Fox News insanity and, with all due respect to our new contributor, former Congressman Duffy, his insanity and, frankly, anti-immigrant bigotry that is reflected in, you know, casting aspersions on Vindman is really something.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of Avlon's lecture on the Wednesday, October 30, New Day on CNN:

JOHN BERMAN: Military heroes and lifelong public servants -- that's who President Trump and his allies are attacking. As for the wisdom of that move, CNN's John Avlon with a "Reality Check."

JOHN AVLON: "Human scum," "radical unelected bureaucrats," "Never Trumpers" -- these are just some of the attacks Trump and his allies have leveled against those who have testified in the impeachment inquiry. And that was before surrogates repeated this ugly talking point about Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.

SEAN DUFFY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR CLIP #1: It seems very clear that he is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense. I don't know that he's concerned about American policy.

DUFFY CLIP #2: We all have an affinity toward our homeland where we came from.

AVLON: In case you missed something that had the subtlety of a sledgehammer, Sean Duffy there was questioning the loyalty of Vindman because he was born in Ukraine. Laura Ingraham went even further, suggesting he was a spy.

(…)

AVLON: Look, President Trump has a history of going after military vets who dare question him like John McCain, Gold Star families like the Khans, and Robert Mueller who was serving as a Marine when Donald Trump was suffering from bone spurs, recalling avoiding STDs as his "own personal Vietnam." And here's what Sean Duffy was doing in his mid-20s when Officer Vindman was serving in Iraq -- appearing on MTV's The Real World, season 6.

But these slurs and lies and innuendo against nonpartisan people of honor have an echo in an incident featuring Donald Trump's onetime lawyer, Roy Cohn. Before he represented the mob, he served as general counsel to Senator Joe McCarthy -- one of the worst demagogues we had seen up to that point. It was during the Army-McCarthy hearings that Cohn and McCarthy met their match when they tried to question to loyalty of an Army lawyer and ran straight into the conscience of the country.

JOSEPH WELCH, COUNSEL FOR U.S. ARMY: Let us not assassinate this man further. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

AVLON: That remains the right question across the generations, and that's your "Reality Check,"

BERMAN: A very, very important one, John. Thank you for that....

NB Daily Trump Impeachment Ukraine Russia Immigration CNN New Day Video John Avlon Sean Duffy John Berman Donald Trump


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