CNNer and FNCer Agree: Obama Wrong to Say 'Cambridge Police Acted Stupidly'

Here's something you don't see every day: a prominent anchor from CNN offering the same opinion as a prominent anchor from Fox News.

Such seems even less likely when the subject involves President Obama, but that's exactly what happened on Thursday's Steve Malzberg Show on WOR radio.

The conservative host spoke separately to FNC's Bret Baier and CNN's John King about the following remarks Obama made during Wednesday's press conference:

I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don`t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that, but I think it`s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry. Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident, is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That`s just a fact.

Neither Baier nor King seemed at all pleased with the President's comments (Baier audio available here, King's available here): 

BRET BAIER, FNC: It's a really interesting story, and I think it's going to gain steam in the next couple of days. For the President to wade in to this issue, and we have not heard all sides definitely yet. You know, we're getting the exact report from the arrest report. We've obviously heard Professor Gates and his, his defense. But for the President from the podium to weigh in on this specific issue was kind of startling as I watched it. And, and obviously the overtones of race and racism and whether race is a factor in America today was underlying bottom line question. But he got pretty specific. And when he said that the Cambridge police acted stupidly, the President pretty much went out on a limb if it turns out that it was more, there was more to this story. I think it's going to develop. We'll see where it plays out. But I'm looking right now at the police report that was just sent to me, and officer has a pretty long history in the department...I think the President went pretty far with saying the Cambridge cops acted stupidly. And there will be more to this...You know, you read this report, you could believe it or not believe it, but it's pretty detailed. And for the President, I, I doubt he had read the police report before saying that the Cambridge police acted stupidly, it's pretty rare for a president to weigh in on that level of detail. [...]

JOHN KING, CNN: I agree with you that I was struck by that word. It was jarring. It was jarring to hear the President say at first, "I don't know what happened, so let's be careful." And then admitted, to his credit, the bias he has for the Professor Gates, said that he knows him well. But then to use, you could say that, "You know, I want to know what the police department did. Boy, I think they have some questions to answer." But to use the word "stupid," to say they behaved "stupidly," he's the President of the United States. That was pretty jarring, and you're right: there are going to be a lot of questions raised because of that. No doubt...If we were going to have a calm discussion about what to learn about this, you know, I think that the President certainly turned up the volume on that without a doubt. 


Exit question: when a CNNer and an FNCer agree on something, what does that mean?

Race Issues Racism Racial Preferences John King Steve Malzberg Bret Baier Henry Louis Gates
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