- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 16, 2019

CNN put one of America’s best-known neo-Nazis on the air Tuesday, where he proceeded to attack President Trump, albeit not in the terms commonly seen on CNN.

Richard Spencer — the target in the videotaped assault that popularized “punch a Nazi” on social media — appeared in a segment of Jake Tapper’s “The Lead” to argue in the context of Mr. Trump’s attack on the four radical freshman Democrats known as “the Squad” that Mr. Trump had paid racism only lip service as part of a “con game.”

“He gives us nothing outside of racist tweets,” he said. “And by racist tweets, I mean tweets that are meaningless and cheap and express the kind of sentiments you might hear from your drunk uncle while he’s watching [Sean] Hannity.”

Mr. Spencer also was a major figure in the fatal 2017 Charlottesville riots and has been accused by his estranged wife of beating her.

Putting Mr. Spencer on a network that frequently chastises Mr. Trump for having normalized racism caused heads to spin, with freelance journalist Nick Martin calling it a “shameful decision” in one of the more printable reactions.

Steve Krakauer, a former senior digital producer at CNN, said that “there is literally nothing productive Spencer brings to the conversation. Whoever made this shameful decision should be fired.”

Red State writer “Bonchie” noted that at least Mr. Spencer fit in at CNN in one sense.

“When you are so desperate to constantly attack Trump that you’ll bring on Richard Spencer to tell you what you want to hear,” he wrote.

And the conservative aggregator Twitchy began its reactions by posting a clip from CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy attacking the White House’s social-media summit last week on the grounds that fringe nuts should not be given a mainstream platform.

Trump inviting right-wing extremists/trolls to the White House is maybe the clearest example of him seeking to validate fringe political allies. He’s also boosting those people, of course,” he added.

Mr. Spencer was not at the White House last week.

Cameron Cawthorne, media analyst for the Washington Free Beacon, wondered aloud whether CNN host Brian Stelter “will include a section in his newsletter about a white nationalist appearing on his network. We all know he would if Fox News brought Richard Spencer on.”

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