Sunday, January 15, 2012

CNN Political Analyst Questions Loesch's Integrity Because of Remarks

Tommy Christopher at Mediaite grabed some footage of CNN political analyst Goldie Taylor on Don Lemon's program describing why urinating on corpses is wrong and calling out Dana Loesch for praising the people who did it. Taylor is a former marine and said the following about the incident:
Taylor told Lemon that the tape wasn’t representative of the Marine Corps that she belonged to, and that “When I look at that, and look at what four marines did to defame my Marine Corps, I’m disgusted.”

She went on to say that the four Marines should be court-martialed.

Then she said what she thought of Loesch's comments:

Lemon asked Taylor about people who defended these Marines’ actions. I’ve heard it,” Taylor said. “And I’ve heard it on this air, frankly. That is disgusting in and of itself, not as satire not as a joke but to say you would ‘drop trou’ and do the same thing, I question someone’s integrity who would say something like that. I want to know if they understand what our young men and women are up against every day. I don’t want to demonize the men and women who serve our country. I honor them, and served alongside them, and am proud of them. But when something like this happens, we have to stand up and call it for the behavior that it is.”

Taylor, by the way, is not alone. Multiple CNN employees criticized Loesch's comments and questioned why she was at the network. For example:

"I can't imagine someone really thinking that, it is so outrageous," said one CNN reporter who requested anonymity. "I think she is trying to garner attention to herself, and that is sad. If that is what she truly believes, she has issues. If you look at that video, I don't care who you are, your stomach should turn."


Another regular CNN journalist added: "I am of the school of thought, 'Why aren't we putting people who are knowledgeable on the air?' I'll just say 'Ewww.' I think it's in poor taste."


"What's interesting is how the kid gloves are applied to outlandish comments made by the likes of Erick Erickson or Dana Loesch and how it has a negative impact on the CNN brand," said the contributor, who also requested anonymity. "There really is no pushback or no real conversation that says, 'Look, you make these kinds of comments or you write these kinds of wild, crazy stuff, that's just not what we're about.' It simply doesn't happen. I think there is fear of saying anything to them because they are Tea Party folks, and there has been a clear effort on the part of our political team to court that whole Tea Party thought process, if you will."

"The danger is always the negative impact on your whole political coverage," the contributor added. "Because clearly you want there to be a point of view, but there is a difference between a point of view and being so far off the rails it defies logic."

Yup, Loesch is embarrassing the employees at CNN who actually have respect for the truth and honest debate.

One criticism of Tommy Christopher's piece for Mediaite; he repeated the suggestion pushed by right-wing media that Bill Maher's comments on Friday were substantively the same as Loesch's. Actually, Maher opened his comments by saying that he was sure that no one condoned the actions. He later said that if the people urinated on were the Taliban, and if they had done horrible things like honor rapes, then he's "not that upset" about it. In sharp contrast, Loesch not only condoned the behavior without any caveats, she openly cheered for it, and said she would "drop trou and do it herself." (not to mention the fact that Maher is a comedian and Loesch is a "political analyst," and there are a lot of things that comedians can get away with that political analysts couldn't, though in this case what Loesch said is clearly *far more* extreme).

So you might disagree with Maher's comments, but they weren't even close to what Loesch said, and it's time to put that particular right-wing meme to rest.

Update: Tommy Christopher says he was drawing a different comparison than the one I focused on. Fair enough, although I still think his post is written in a way that feeds into the right-wing meme that "Maher said the exact same thing." And an earlier Mediaite post by Josh Feldman, linked to by Christopher, seems to explicitly make that claim:

Maher appears to be echoing similar sentiments to Dana Loesch, who earlier today said she didn’t understand why the video was so controversial, adding “I’d drop trou and do it too.”

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