CNN Criticized For Inviting Ex-Rep On Air After He Threatened President Obama

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July 11, 2016 7:51 a.m.

Hours after former congressman Joe Walsh threatened President Barack Obama over the killings of police officers in Dallas, CNN invited him on air to discuss his views.

This decision was criticized by pundits who charged that the network was giving Walsh a platform to spread his divisive views.

“I stand by what I meant, Don,” Walsh told CNN’s Don Lemon on Friday night, regarding the flood of tweets he sent blaming activists, liberals, and Obama for a the deaths of five police officers at the hands of a lone gunman during a Black Lives Matter protests in Dallas on Thursday.

“I didn’t intend to say everybody go threaten Barack Obama or incite violence against Barack Obama,” Walsh said, though he deleted a tweet warning that “real America” was “coming after” Obama and Black Lives Matter activists. “I don’t know of a sane person that would do that. That’s not what I meant, Don.”

Walsh, a former Tea Party representative from Illinois who now hosts a conservative radio show, said he only deleted the post because Twitter suspended his account. Though the company would not comment on the tweet due to privacy reasons, spokesman Nu Wexler pointed CNN to a Twitter policy saying users “may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.”

Walsh saw this as censorship by the social media site, claiming Twitter “shut me down” and that he was just trying to make the point that “there really is a war on our cops.”

“The last couple of years, Barack Obama has done nothing but hate on cops. Accusing cops of being bad and racist,” Walsh said, pointing to Obama’s comments after Philando Castile was fatally shot by police in Minnesota last week.

The president lamented that minorities are far more likely to be pulled over, arrested, and shot by law enforcement.

Lemon pointed out that Obama was citing facts about “systemic racism” in this country, not accusing cops of being racist.

CNN’s decision to bring Walsh on air and his lack of remorse for his inflammatory comments drew immediate criticism.

Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Obama, accused CNN of “giving hate and violence a public platform” with the interview.

Walsh’s appearance prompted Daily Beast Editor-at-Large Goldie Taylor to discuss the “great purge” of black pundits from the major cable networks and how those who “openly spew racist vile” can rely on frequent bookings.

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