CNN guest: Let’s face it, Trump might kill more people than Hitler or Stalin
Via the Examiner, this is who they had booked for a show called “Reliable Sources.”
It’s very on-brand for CNN that even a guest whom they had on to argue that Trump *isn’t* crazy would qualify that by adding that he’s probably worse than Hitler anyway.
Initially I thought that the many millions of deaths foreseen here were an allusion to nuclear war, that Trump might throw a fit over something he saw in a “Fox & Friends” segment, say, and push the button. This was, after all, a segment about the president’s “erratic” temperament. But that claim would run into the inconvenient truth that Trump, for all his petty belligerence towards antagonists, has been commendably restrained thus far in matters of actual war. The standard media narrative about his interactions with his advisors is that they’re forever trying to talk him out of doing something rash and destructive, which may be true when it comes to trade. But when it comes to dropping bombs, the dynamic is the other way around.
I mean, if you want to ding Trump on nukes, you’ve got a much stronger case that he’s dangerously naive about foreign malefactors’ supposed goodwill than that he’s looking to start an atomic exchange.
But no, this wasn’t about nukes. The guest was going for something else:
Terrible damage Trump is doing to world climate at this global warming tipping point may be irreversable/could kill hundreds of millions of people in the coming decades.
Many of them our children & grandchildren & their children.
This is an existential crisis for humanity. https://t.co/Ca6M5rgE0n
— Allen Frances (@AllenFrancesMD) August 25, 2019
I’m tempted to use that as a jumping-off point for arguing relative blame for any ensuing climate catastrophes (China? India? Barack Obama when he had total control of government?) but I’d rather stick with a Twitter pal’s take on Frances’s hysteria: “These are the people who will be assessing whether you’re exhibiting any red flags” if new gun-control legislation passes.
As for why left-friendly host Brian Stelter didn’t challenge Frances on his insane Hitler/Stalin point, you’ll never guess what happened at that precise moment.
I agree that I should have interrupted after that line. I wish I had heard him say it, but I was distracted by tech difficulties (that's why the show open didn't look the way it normally does, I had two computers at the table, etc). Not hearing the comment is my fault.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 25, 2019
Note to any TV hosts reading this: If you’re distracted during a segment and you hear the word “Hitler” suddenly pop up in the conversation, that’s the point where you tune back in. “If this happened at Fox,” said Erick Erickson, “Stelter himself would be calling for an apology and covering the host going on a ‘previously scheduled vacation.’” Absolutely. Although, really, I’m not sure how Frances’s point deviates from CNN orthodoxy: Certainly a Don Lemon or Chris Cuomo would tell you that Trump is a threat to the lives of many millions of people, whether passively by not rejoining the Paris Accord or actively via nuclear war. Stelter’s “technical difficulties” excuse smells like something he manufactured because he’s less willing than Lemon or Cuomo to take an overtly adversarial approach to the president. Although he’s clearly hostile to Trump, his show focuses on how the media covers the news and it’d be a bad look for the neutral-ish moderator of a show like that to go to the mat for the idea that Trump might potentially be more dangerous than the leader of Nazi Germany.
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