For those watching CNN to see the results of Super Tuesday, you may have caught the heated argument between contributors Van Jones and Jeffrey Lord that took place on set. Jones, a black man who worked for the Obama Administration, confronted Lord over his continued defense of Donald Trump’s lack of condemnation of the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke. Things went off the rails when Lord asserted that the KKK is really a wing of the Democratic Party and a leftist organization pushing a progressive agenda.
The thing is, this wasn’t the first time Lord had made this declaration on CNN, and it wouldn’t be the last. The day after Trump’s infamous interview with Jake Tapper, Lord appeared on New Day and started spreading the idea that Duke and the KKK are hardcore leftists. After saying that Trump has disavowed both Duke and the Klan numerous times, he pushed a narrative that Democrats are the only ones responsible for racial hate. He also noted that Klan members are only Democrats because they like Social Security and such.
Of course, Lord is peddling misleading history. Sure, the Democratic Party and KKK have history together, and a large number of segregationists and white supremacists were Democrats — more than 50 years ago! It may amaze some people, but the two major political parties weren’t so beholden to strict ideology in the past. However, after John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson started pushing for civil rights in the ’60s, and treating black people equally, a large number of southern Democrats (Dixiecrats) jumped over to the Republican Party. How do you think the GOP came up with the Southern Strategy?
Lord knows he’s being disingenuous, but simply doesn’t care, because he’s there to give the pro-Trump side. Therefore, after pushing this nonsense on Monday morning, he’s been allowed to continue to spew it numerous times since. The next day, The Daily Beast’s John Avlon called Lord out for defending Trump and deflecting by calling the KKK a liberal organization, only to have Lord counter by once again saying they are a leftist group.
Likely due to Lord’s ridiculous position, Jones felt the need to confront him on Tuesday night. And while Jones made a passionate case, Lord was given the last word. Worse than that, Jones was taken off the air shortly afterward while the Trump supporter was kept on set for hours more, given him further opportunity to gush over his lord and master while CNN paid him to do so.
However, because everyone on social media was talking about the confrontation between the two Tuesday night, CNN had to exploit it further Wednesday morning, and they had the two on to argue with each other for 20 minutes. Once again, we were exposed to Lord’s revisionist history while hosts Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota tried to mediate and play the ‘both sides have a point’ game. Yes, at one point, Cuomo explained to Jones just what Lord meant, as if right-wing fan fiction about white supremacy was a valid argument.
I’m sure CNN execs and producers loved all of this. As we all know by now, cable news has nothing to do with news or informing the public. It is all infotainment and tabloid TV. The louder and more unhinged a ‘debate,’ the better. And giving disreputable, odious, conspiracy-minded hacks and shills like Lord a forum to puke out their idiotic worldview is all part of the game.