While CNN is gung-ho in its relentless coverage and criticism of Tuesday’s press conference, the network’s apparently not as interested in correcting its liberal guests less than accurate characterizations of violent left-wing groups.
After questioning if Trump wanted America to return to white supremacy, CNN New Day host Poppy Harlow brought on Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson to get his take, during Wednesday’s 7am show.
Dyson, who in 2016 first made CNN’s argument that “make America great again” was “code” for “white nationalism,” complained that Trump was “complicit” with the “worst kinds of bigotry” while praising violent leftist groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter as patriotic movements “preserving the fabric of America.”
This tirade came after analyst April Ryan called on Republicans to back the anti-confederate statue movement across the country, or be complicit with white supremacy. Later in the show, host Poppy Harlow continued that line of argument with Dyson. She claimed that critics of removing statues were wrong because they were “ignoring” “the fact” that these monuments “represent a sanitized, fictionalized history.”
Harlow then asked Dyson what he thought about what Trump said. Dyson unleashed a tirade about “kindergartener” Trump “complicit with the worst kinds of bigotry in the country.” Dyson even defended the “alt-left” Black Lives Matter and Antifa groups, as “preserving the fabric of America.”
POPPY HARLOW: Michael, the president said that we are -- about the monuments, about the confederate monuments yesterday, that we are trying to erase, we being American people, it is trying to erase history, change culture, by taking them down. That sort of completely ignores the fact that they are representing a sanitized, fictionalized history. If you look back at these beautiful remarks from Mitch Landrieu earlier this year who quoted the vice president of the confederacy, Alexander Stephens. He talked about that cornerstone speech when he said, that the great truth is that the N word is not equal to the white man, that slavery and subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. What did you make of how the president addressed these monuments yesterday?
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: This man is lethally ignorant, incapable of even having a kindergartner's comprehension of race. For those who say look, the confederacy is about history and heritage, it is. The history and heritage of racism! The history and heritage of bigotry. Building their sense of biological and in many cases theological and national identity upon a lie, a mythology of white supremacy. The belief that some people are inherently superior and some people are inherently inferior. For the president then to defend the actions against taking down Robert E. Lee, or stonewall Jackson -- remember, these people hated America enough to want the secede from it. The people that we claim, black lives matter, the antifa movement and so on, are interested in preserving the fabric of America. Mr. Miller says again, that there was violence there, but the problem is to equate that violence in reaction to the bigotry, with the bigotry itself is to misunderstand the fact that when you go to cancer treatment, the radiation is tough treatment, but it is meant to remove the cancer. So what he fails to understand and what the president especially fails to understand is that you are complicit with the worst currents of bigotry in this country when you try to draw a false equivalence between cessationists, racists and confederate defenders and bigots and neo Nazis and African-American and white people and others who have defended the rights of this nation to really seek a path of healing beyond the consternation we see now. That's the problem with this president, he ain't got the right moral vision, he doesn't have the right words to express that moral vision and he lacks an understanding of American history. This is the most illiterate, incompetent president in the history of this nation and it shows and it tells on him in the midst of this racial crisis where he is incapable of showing basic decent compassion for those who are vulnerable and who are victims of white supremacy in this country.
Harlow let Dyson get the last word in before continuing to the next segment.