Here's That Bizarre CNN Segment Featuring Fox's Travis Suddenly Discussing Love of Boobs, Free Speech

As immediately documented by this writer on Twitter, the internet exploded on Friday when Fox Sports personality Clay Travis disgusted CNN Newsroom host Brooke Baldwin and former ESPN employee Keith Reed by suggesting during a segment on Jemele Hill that he “believe[s] in only two things completely, the First Amendment and boobs.”

What Travis said was immature and NSFW (even though he’s said this before), but unfortunately, such behavior and language has been tolerated before on CNN with their most famous offender being Kathy Griffin.

But first, Travis declared that he’s “a First Amendment absolutist” and believes in only that and boobs. The facial expressions were priceless from Baldwin and Reed as the former tried to seek clarification:

TRAVIS: [S]o, once they made the decision that they were not going to —

BALDWIN: Wait. Did you just say you believe in the First Amendment — and —

TRAVIS: — allow a conservative, non-sports-related commentary —

BALDWIN: — hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on. I just want to make sure I heard you correctly, as a woman anchoring this show. Did you say — what did you just say? 

TRAVIS: Yeah.

BALDWIN: You believe in the First Amendment and b-o-o-b-s? 

“Boobs, two things that have only never let me down in this entire country's history, the First Amendment and boobs. So, those are the only two things I believe in absolutely in the country,” Travis added before going back to the subject of ESPN.

Reed chimed in that he’s “astonished at almost everything I just heard” before making the unsurprising case that the criticism of Hill has to do with sexism. Baldwin was still beside herself:

BALDWIN: I'm just — I'm still there, too and I just want to make sure I'm you hearing correctly....B-o-o-z-e or b-o-o-b-s? Because, as a woman, I'm — I’m —

TRAVIS: I said boobs. I believe completely in the First Amendment and in boobs. Those are the only two things I believe 100 percent in, in this country and —

BALDWIN: Why are you sitting here live on CNN speaking —

TRAVIS: — by the way, Jemele has — absolutely nothing to do her background at all. Immediately — did you notice that? He went straight to that.

REED: Yes. You're absolutely right. I did go straight to that. 

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Baldwin scolded Travis by wondering “why would you even say that live on national television” and especially “with a female host.” Travis shot back that he’s stated “it live on the radio all the time, because it's true, and that's what I do, because I like boobs and the First Amendment, which is exactly what I said.” It was moments later that Baldwin ended the segment:

BALDWIN: I'm done. I'm sorry. I'm done. 

REED: — and to have her anatomy brought up, to have anyone's anatomy brought up in this conversation,

BALDWIN: I'm done. 

REED: — completely derailed it.

BALDWIN: This is done. This conversation over, yanking mikes. Bye. See you. That was entirely inappropriate and it just took me — forgive me that it took me a second. It like live television happens, and you think you hear something, but you are not entirely sure. And then you realize it happened. So, I apologize for him in that. Let's move on. 

Back to Griffin. New Year’s Eve 2009 featured Griffin yelling at a heckler to get a job because she doesn’t “go to your job and knock the dicks out of your mouth.” A year later in 2010, Griffin stripped down to her underwear, so there was that too. Going forward to 2012's installment, she kissed co-host Anderson Cooper’s crotch after warning that she’d “tickle [his] sack.” 

Since Friday’s segment featured Baldwin, it’s rich that she was part of CNN’s 2016 NYE coverage when Griffin talked about nipples before CNN Tonight host Don Lemon got his nipple pierced on live TV. In reaction to Griffin’s nipple talk, Baldwin declared: “Kathy, I love you.”

Leaving Griffin out, a November 2008 edition of Larry King Live included a graphic discussion of how a so-called pregnant man has sex and what their genitals look like.

This coming Fall, CNN is even running a documentary by Lisa Ling entitled This Is Sex. Supposedly, it will expose “the ways we stigmatize, police and politicize sex in America.” Would Baldwin say that’s an appropriate topic to have discussed on CNN?

If she were at NBC, you have to wonder what she would have said when Today proudly showed pictures of breasts 54 times on July 18, 2011 for a six-minute segment entitled “Breast Obsessed in America.” Here’s an except of what my colleague Kyle Drennen reported at the time:

Monday's NBC Today decided to devote a six-minute segment in the 8 a.m. ET hour to America's "obsession" with breasts, with co-host Ann Curry declaring: "...they have become an object of sort of undue fascination." As the report was teased throughout the broadcast and during the segment itself, 54 pairs of breasts appeared on screen, with some images repeated.

(....)

The irony of doing a segment filled with images of breasts while asking why people were obsessed with them seemed to be lost on NBC reporters and pundits as they decried the amount of attention given to that part of the female anatomy. Fill-in co-host Lester Holt referred to it as a "tempest in a C cup." Correspondent Amy Robach reported: "Just how much are breasts on the human mind? A quick Google for them, paired with 'boobs' and the slang word starting with a 'T,' turns up almost a billion hits."

For examples of lewd behavior that was laughed off that appeared on other networks, a sampling can be found here and here.

Again, Travis’s discussion of female body parts on a cable news channel was quite immature and meant to draw attention, but what’s undeniable is that such behavior hasn’t played out on CNN before, (and even when Baldwin was on the air).

Here’s the relevant transcript from September 15's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:

CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
September 15, 2017
3:23 p.m. Eastern

BROOKE BALDWIN: Of all the different columnists or even magazines in the wake of Charlottesville specifically, that have called out the President as racist, why do you think he really took this particular target on ESPN and Jemele? 

CLAY TRAVIS: Well, I think because ESPN is not in the business of commenting randomly on political-related issues. If you look at their history, they established about 18 months ago that they don't believe their people should be in involved in non- sports-related political controversy. They suspended and then fired Curt Schilling for saying that he disagreed with the North Carolina transgender bathroom bill and that had absolutely nothing to do with sports and they said, look, you can't have this opinion, it’s too conservative. We are not going to allow it.  I think that's a bad move. I'm a First Amendment absolutist. I believe in only two things completely, the First Amendment and boobs and so, once they made the decision that they were not going to — 

BALDWIN: Wait. Did you just say you believe in the First Amendment — and —

TRAVIS: — allow a conservative, non-sports-related commentary —

BALDWIN: — hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on. I just want to make sure I heard you correctly, as a woman anchoring this show. Did you say — what did you just say? 

TRAVIS: Yeah.

BALDWIN: You believe in the First Amendment and b-o-o-b-s? 

TRAVIS: Boobs, two things that have only never let me down in this entire country's history, the First Amendment and boobs. So, those are the only two things I believe in absolutely in the country and so I don't think Jemele Hill should be fired. But I do think, straight up, that once you make the decision that you were going to let Curt Schilling go, that you have to also make the decision that you're going to let Jemele Hill go. I think that's a bad decision. I think ESPN has made bad decisions that have led to 13 million subscribers bailing on the network. They have made bad decisions that have led to ratings collapsing. Jemele Hill's television show is collapsing. Ratings were down 20 percent last week over last year. I think that is why she's angry. I think that's why she went after Donald Trump. She's begging for ESPN to fire her, so she can work somewhere else. 

BALDWIN: Okay. Okay, um — Keith, what are you thinking? 

KEITH REED: Listen, I'm astonished at almost everything I just heard. One of the things that — and Jemele is a personal friend, not just a colleague, but a personal friend. One of the things that Jemele has had to deal with her entire career, and many women who I'm friends with in this business and have been friends with in this business for a long time, is sexism, blatant sexism, comments about her appearance, comments about her racially, comments about her inability or perceived inability to be able to comment on sports because of her gender. So, for somebody to come on CNN and to say something like the only thing I believe in, and the discussion about something that’s substantive —

BALDWIN: I'm just — I'm still there, too and I just want to make sure I'm you hearing correctly. 

REED: It’s just — astonishing.

BALDWIN: B-o-o-z-e or b-o-o-b-s? Because, as a woman, I'm — I’m —

TRAVIS: I said boobs. I believe completely in the First Amendment and in boobs. Those are the only two things I believe 100 percent in, in this country and —

BALDWIN: Why are you sitting here live on CNN speaking —

TRAVIS: — by the way, Jemele has — absolutely nothing to do her background at all. Immediately — did you notice that? He went straight to that.

REED: Yes. You're absolutely right. I did go straight to that. 

BALDWIN: Guys, why would you even say that live on national television? And with a female host, why would you even go there? 

TRAVIS: I say it live on the radio all the time, because it's true, and that's what I do, because I like boobs and the First Amendment, which is exactly what I said. 

REED: Listen, Brooke, I think that speaks for itself. I love the First Amendment as well. I also love women and as one who loves to —

TRAVIS: You don't love boobs, too? 

REED: — as one who truly — I'm not going to talk about that on television, because it's irrelevant to the topic. It shouldn't be brought up here. 

TRAVIS: Why not? 

REED: I'm — I am a supporter of women in their careers. I am a supporter and a staunch supporter of women like Brooke, who I have shared the airwaves with before, and like Jemele, who is a personal friend of mine for a long time and to have that even —

BALDWIN: I'm done. I'm sorry. I'm done. 

REED: — and to have her anatomy brought up, to have anyone's anatomy brought up in this conversation,

BALDWIN: I'm done. 

REED: — completely derailed it.

BALDWIN: This is done. This conversation over, yanking mikes. Bye. See you. That was entirely inappropriate and it just took me — forgive me that it took me a second. It like live television happens, and you think you hear something, but you are not entirely sure. And then you realize it happened. So, I apologize for him in that. Let's move on. 


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