CNN’s Soledad O’Brien did not do her homework again.
O’Brien, who embarrassed herself before the nation when she made
clear she did not know what “critical race theory” was, attempted to
hector Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) about West’s claims that members of
the Progressive Caucus were communists.
O’Brien was first oblivious to West’s correct point that many stations,
like CNN, had not played his full remarks in which he was responding
to a moderator’s question about how many communists West thought
were in Congress. West specifically said the “communists” he was
speaking of were members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Here is the transcript of West’s original remarks:
Moderator (reading question submitted in writing): What percentage of the American
legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists or international Socialists?
West: No, that’s a good question. I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the
Democrat Party that are members of the Communist Party…
…No, they actually don’t hide it. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
What the mainstream networks have failed to let the
audience know is that West was responding to a question that was
specifically asked, making it seem like West started speaking of
communists out of the blue. And they have left the last part of West’s
response on the cutting room floor.
So, after misleading her audience a bit by not playing West’s full
remarks in the proper context, O’Brien started naming random
members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in a tone that tried
to tell the audience that those members were in fact not communists.
In a heated exchange, O’Brien asked, “So Keith Ellison is a
communist? ... Raúl Grijalva is a communist?”
Except, according to Trevor Loudon, Grijalva, a left-wing Arizona
Congressman, does have connections to the Communist Party and
those sympathetic to it.
In 1993, Grijalva penned a column, according to Loudon, for the
People’s Weekly World, which is the official paper for the Communist
Party USA network and collaborates with the Young Communist
League. Grijalva penned the column in the November 13, 1993 issue.
In 2002, the People’s Weekly World, according to Loudon, ran
a column by Joe Bernick, whom Loudon describes as a “local
Communist Party leader, touting Grijalva’s victory in the Democratic
primary. The headline for the column was, “People Gain In Arizona
Further, as Loudon documents, Grijalva has been supported by
Communist Party member Susan Thorpe and has worked with
members of the Arizona Communist Party on local initiatives.
And Grijalva has not disappointed his supporters, as HE,
according to an ideology axis put together by govtrack.us, is the most
left-leaning member of Congress. No data point can be further to the
left than Grijalva’s data point on the axis.
O’Brien thought she was tripping up West by mindlessly name-checking Grijalva as an example of someone who she thought did not
have any communist leanings. Instead, it served as another example
of O’Brien’s woeful ignorance about the issues and
people she discusses on the air.