CNN invited a white supremacist onto its channel to talk about Trump’s racist tweets - and helped a far-right extremist spread his views to hundreds of thousands of viewers.
In a segment on Jake Tapper’s The Lead, Richard Spencer was asked about Trump's recent attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of colour, who are all US citizens, in which he told them to “go back” to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.
Spencer, who has called for “ethnic cleansing” and quoted Nazi propaganda, agreed the tweets were racist and said many white nationalists would “eat up this red meat that Donald Trump is throwing out”.
However, he complained that Trump “gives us [white supremacists] nothing outside of racist tweets”.
After the appearance, Spencer repeatedly shared the interview on his social media with his supporters celebrating it as a success.
CNN understandably came under fire for giving a platform to a full-blown white supremacist.
And the channel also got criticism from Trump supporters who have downplayed the offensive tweets.
When the president sends blatantly racist tweets, it should be obvious that news outlets shouldn't be giving white supremacists publicity to talk about them.
Richard Spencer was a key figure at Unite the Right, the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, in which Heather Heyer, an anti-racist protester, was murdered by a neo-Nazi.
Academics who study the far-right and white supremacy have repeatedly cautioned mainstream news outlets from giving a platform to extremists like Spencer.
HT: The Daily Beast