- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Chris Cuomo says his 2020 commentary on Black Lives Matter is being “weaponized” by dishonest “retrumplicans.”

The CNN host told Twitter followers that his viral “Show me where it says that protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful” moment is being exploited in the wake of chaos at the Capitol last week. 

“Context: retrumplicans were attacking anger and hostility of protestors toward the ‘system’ — cops, laws, etc.,” he said of last year’s commentary. “I said they don’t have to just sing hymns and go home. Never supported riots. Never would. Operatives posing as media weaponizing my words know this. They are a problem.”

Mr. Cuomo‘s critics have used the clip to frame him as a hypocrite in the wake of President Trump’s supporters flooding the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“Citizens have no duty to check their outrage or to ignore a curfew, to keep doing that,” the CNN anchor said last June. “They may get arrested because it’s illegal, but that’s their right as well. Looting, arson, violence, now that’s something else. Don’t confuse that with protest or the people doing it with protesters. There are bad people mixed in with good people in these situations. That’s the truth. We’re learning it in every city.” 

Friday’s lamentation did not impress Hot Air’s John Sexton.

“Yes, Cuomo covered himself by excluding looting and arson but he specifically suggested that people could violate curfews if that’s what they wanted to do,” Mr. Sexton wrote at the conservative website. “That’s not helpful when authorities are trying to lower the temperature by putting curfews in place. Cuomo acts as if there is a stark line between angry protests and violence but what we actually saw all summer was that one thing frequently bleeds into the other.”

Mr. Sexton noted that encouraging protests to violate curfews, which were designed to mitigate destruction taking place under the cover of darkness, undercut Mr. Cuomo‘s message.

“The whole point [of curfews] was to tone down the anger that was boiling over and Cuomo is instead advising people to shout about the anger and break curfew if they want to,” Mr. Sexton wrote.

“Frankly, this is the same thing that happened last week. A bunch of worked-up Trump supporters came to a rally and got worked up even more about stopping the steal. A short time later that anger boiled over and people were breaking windows and beating the hell out of Capitol police officers. … The responsible thing for [Mr. Cuomo] to have said was that while anger is understandable, the fact that people were getting carried away and violence was breaking out around the country showed we needed to bring the temperature down and observe the curfews and act peacefully. Obviously, that’s not what he said. He earned all the criticism he’s getting.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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