On CNN this morning, Soledad O’Brien hosted a roundtable discussion with actor and conservative activist Stephen Baldwin, LGBT civil rights activist (and icon) Richard Socarides, and a few others. As you can see in this clip, starting around the 1:35 mark, O’Brien not only looks perplexed, but is totally ignorant of the fact that for two years now, in almost every major poll, the majority of Americans have stated they support same-sex marriage. These aren’t outliers, this is a fact.
(In case you aren’t comfortable with this statement, see what the New York Times’ Nate Silver wrote in May of last year.)
How is it a top CNN anchor is totally unaware of this?
While you’re watching the video, you can thank me for not making the title of this post, “Stephen Baldwin: Family Research Council Employees Are “Heavily Armed,” as I had debated, but opted to not add to the violent rhetoric.
Or, “Baldwin suggests Obama is a pimp and broke the law when he worked with interested parties to pass Obamacare.”
Please, CNN, time to boot know-nothing actors like Stephen Baldwin, who has little knowledge of the topics you’re discussing, and, frankly, insufficient intelligence to add to the discussion, and time to get you anchors access to information.
Perhaps there needs to be a knowledge test at CNN?
The panel started to discuss the Brian Brown interview, in which Brown totally politicized the FRC shooting, and without sufficient facts, stooping to the lowest level possible, of course.
Transcript via CNN:
O’BRIEN: We are going to start with a serious topic which is that shooting that took place in D.C. at FRC. Earlier we had Brian Brown on, and he was — he said this. Let me just play a little bit of his interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Everything points to the fact that this was politically motivated. And it’s totally unacceptable. And groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which have labeled the family research council, which is a mainstream group, a hate group, that sort of talk, that sort of labeling and attack, it’s totally irresponsible and unacceptable. And I think this incident makes that clear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O’BRIEN: He is the president of the National Organization for Marriage. And it seems we are now learning about the security guard who was injured in the attack. But he seems to have stopped it and really probably saved a lot of lives because this guy was heavily armed. What do you make of what he’s saying, which is there is an irresponsibility in the labeling that goes around the FRC.
BALDWIN: Well, I think that — I know exactly what FRC is. I know the founder of it. And anybody that tries to go in there with a weapon was probably pretty stupid, because those people are –
RICHARD SOCARIDES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Heavily armed?
BALDWIN: Yes, they are heavily armed people. Huh. Exactly. I think it gets back to common sense, regular Joe philosophy. I think that there is a right and a left. And a very conservative perspective about what the future of the country is. And there’s a progressive movement that wants what it wants. And we are now seeing all of these types of differences coming to extreme heads and confrontations.
O’BRIEN: It sounds like you’re saying that the hostility and the tenor and the tone is only going to ratchet-up, right?
O’BRIEN: You’re saying harsher this way, harsher that way, and that bubbles into much of a clash and angry rhetoric and worse than angry rhetoric.
BALDWIN: Yes. I mean, obviously we’re seeing more and more violence. Where is that coming from? SOCARIDES: Do you think, though, that maybe we’re seeing more violence on the extremes, but that in the middle, I think the country is coming together around some core principles. We are all in this together. We are all about the same values.
BALDWIN: We should be.
SOCARIDES: We should be, right?
CAIN: What are you saying?
SOCARIDES: I think that there is a consensus around issues like gay rights. The family research council is a big advocate against gay consensus for basic fairness for all.
BALDWIN: Well, there’s a shift.
SOCARIDES: There is a shift.
BALDWIN: In the perception, yes. But at the same time, you have organizations like family research council that say, ok, what about traditional? What about the foundations of what has been the origins and the establishment of this country? It doesn’t mean don’t try to do the right thing. But I believe, you know, listen, Kirk Cameron said something, you know, with Piers Morgan and got in a lot of trouble. And I said during that time, Kirk, it’s not what you say. It’s how you say it. But I supported kirk Cameron for being able to say and stand up for what he believes in.
O’BRIEN: By the way, you have called Vice President Biden a potty mouth. You called the president a gangster. Do you think that the words that people are throwing back and forth are, you know, and I played just a bunch of clips of everybody saying just hostile, nasty things. And I know every couple of years, we say this is the worst ever. Oh, my god, the rhetoric is so bad. But at some point don’t you think it’s ratcheting up?
BALDWIN: Well, Soledad, I call them like I see them. No. Listen, there was a political move by this president to get health care passed that in my perception was criminal, meaning on a common sense level. You don’t go do a deal behind everybody’s back and work the system and, you know, pimp it out so to speak, in order to get your way.
O’BRIEN: So I’m going to guarantee you that the fact you have used the words “pimp it out” is going to –
BALDWIN: Get me in a lot of trouble!
O’BRIEN: Yes, sir.
BALDWIN: I call them like I see them, Soledad.
O’BRIEN: So you are, though, comparing the president to a pimp in those words. Is that what you’re saying?
BALDWIN: No, no. I’m using an — O’BRIEN: No, I’m asking. No, no, I’m literally — that’s what I’m saying. You’re going to get in trouble. That’s the connection people will make, as you know.
BALDWIN: I’m trying to clarify it simply by saying he did something and made a move that most people on a common sense level would say, was that really the right way to get that done? But this president obviously is going to do what he thinks he needs to do to achieve his goals and achieve his agenda.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.