Or rather his conduct when he screamed at Chris Cuomo during an interview with the CNN newsman.
The reason for Rodman lashing out at Cuomo as well as participating in the interview with slurred words, let alone suggesting that Kenneth Bae, an American citizen is rightfully being held in a concentration camp on vague charges that he intended to bring down the North Korean government? Well, quite simply, the former NBA all-star blamed it all on the alcohol and stress.
*Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has taken serious heat over his ongoing relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, and his resistance of pressure to leverage that relationship for the release of imprisoned American Kenneth Bae.
In an interview with CNN “New Day” host Chris Cuomo, which aired Tuesday morning, Rodman took things a step further, essentially accusing Bae of an unspecified crime, and bellowing his way through the rest of the Q&A, reports Mediate.com.
Former NBA star Charles Smith, who had been acting as the group’s spokesman to this point in the interview, tried his best to calm Rodman down, but when Cuomo asked about Bae, an incensed Rodman waved Smith off.
*The so-called “Knockout Game” has been gathering steam as a news narrative, with conservatives demanding that the media finally focus on crimes committed by black people, notes the blog Mediate.
On Monday morning’s edition of CNN’s “New Day,” expert guest Harry Houck, a former NYPD detective, went there, explaining to the “New Day” anchor team that while “not every black kid is doing this,” the only suggestion he could offer to avoid such attacks was “crossing the street, getting away from them” if you see “a group of black youths.” (Watch video below.)
Anchor Kate Bolduan asked Harry Houck for his take on the phenomenon. “Is this a growing trend?” she asked. “Is this an urban myth, or maybe better stated as growing trend or group of isolated incidents?”
Houck replied that the trend is real, adding that “Urban myths don’t exist. These attacks exist in everyone’s minds, especially in those victims.”
That’s when the familiar language of race-baiting began, according to Mediate. Asked if the media was contributing to the problem by hyping the attacks, Houck replied, “I think we have to let the public know what’s going on to protect ourselves. That’s our job. That’s the police department’s job to protect the public. No matter how politically incorrect it might be. It’s to know what is going on and how to protect themselves.”
This is where the hustler hides the red card, because when co-host Chris Cuomo asks Houck to explain his remark about “political correctness” (insulating himself and his show from criticism), Houck lays his suggestion off on other people. “I ask people who I run into every day, ‘What are you doing?’ They say if they see a group of black youths, they cross the street.”
Co-host Michaela Pereira pushed back, telling Houck that “black kids don’t need to be made to feel they’re a threat simply because they are hanging out with friends.”
Houck generously allowed that, “Not every black kid is doing this. It’s very few, but if you are the victim, if you are a potential victim and you are afraid walking down the street, you see a group of black youths, everybody I am talking to says they are crossing the street, getting away from them,” and added that “the good black kids will be saying ‘Why are you crossing the street when I walk by?’”
While Pereira pointed out that the “majority” of black kids aren’t doing this, and Cuomo added that “Black kids are getting clocked, too,” their guest expert never gets around to offering any alternative to crossing the street to protect yourselves. He even reiterated it later in the segment, in what could double as a spot-on media criticism. “This is creating terror on the streets, I know,” Houck said. “People are, as soon as they see black youths, like I say, everybody I have talked to, I know you don’t like that, Michaela, but you can understand why they think that way.”
Houck also referenced the classic “the good blacks” frame, which reinforced his earlier suggestion that black teenagers who don’t viciously knock people out are someho the exception.
As far as anyone can tell, of course, these crimes are exceedingly rare, and you are orders of magnitude more likely to be killed or injured crossing the street than walking past a group of black youths. This sort of fear-mongering is nothing, new, though; it’s not as if white people really needed another excuse to be scared of black kids. What is somewhat new is the attempt to normalize it. Pereira’s objections notwithstanding, little is done to challenge the logic of Houck’s commentary.
CNN, and the rest of the media, would do well to resist focusing on the racial aspect of these crimes, and instead serve the public with information they can use, such as the serious medical consequences that loss of consciousness can entail.
Paula Deen’s sons Jamie (L) and Bobby Deen are interviewed on CNN’s “New Day” (June 25, 2013)
*Paula Deen’s two sons attempted some damage control this morning in the wake of their mom’s racism controversy.
During an interview on CNN’s “New Day,” co-anchor Chris Cuomo interviewed Jamie Deen and Bobby Deen about the troubles facing their mom. The two men said there was nothing racist about their upbringing, and offered as an example the lesson they were taught by the struggles of baseball legend Hank Aaron.
Cuomo began by asking Jamie and Bobby “What do you say to people who believe that your mother is a racist?”
“That’s simply not true,” Bobby replied, pointing out that “Our mother was under oath, asked in a deposition if she, to pore over her entire life and admit whether or not she had ever heard or used this word, and it broke her heart to have to answer truthfully, and say yes that they had, but the important thing is for people to know that is not her heart.”
“It is certainly not the home that we were raised in,” he continued. “We were raised in a family with love and of faith, and a house where God lived, and neither one of our parents ever taught us to be bigoted towards any other person for any reason, and this is so saddening to me because our mother is one of the most compassionate, good-hearted, empathetic people that you’d ever meet and these accusations are very hurtful to her and it’s very sad and frankly I’m disgusted by the entire thing, because it began as extortion, and it’s become character assassination, and our mother is not the picture of this being painted of her.”
Jamie jumped in to explain that “when I was a young man in 1975, Henry Aaron was my hero, in 1974 he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record by hitting 715 home runs. Before I had my tonsils taken out, I was 7 years old and really nervous, and my parents gave me Hank Aaron pajamas, and my mom and dad told the story of the challenges the Hammer faced in pursuit of his record. They told me he’s a man of character. This is a lesson I’ve carried throughout my life, of inclusion, and to treat everyone fairly and by their character and own merit. Under no circumstances should you ever judge anybody for any other reason.”
*Today was Soledad O’Brien‘s last day hosting CNN’s “Starting Point,” and the veteran journalist took a trip down memory lane with her panel during the show’s “End Point” segment.
Will Cain and Roland Martin spoke of their good relationship with O’Brien, both personally and professionally, while Ryan Lizza gave “a shout-out to a year’s worth of some of the best interviews with politicians.” John Berman lamented that “John Sununu could not be here this morning” — and thanked O’Brien for an “interesting, fantastic year.”
O’Brien herself spoke of the chance CNN has given her “to cover some of the biggest stories” of our time. Specifically, she told an anecdote about Hurricane Katrina coverage, recalling the standing ovation the team received “because we had covered the story so well.”
“I think if I’ve learned anything over the past year,” she said, “it’s that facts matter. And we shouldn’t be afraid to have tough and honest conversations, and maybe even argue a little bit when there’s a lot at stake. And yes, Gov. Sununu, I am talking to you.”
O’Brien will still be producing specials/documentaries for CNN and will be working with her production company on those projects going forward. CNN’s new, still-unnamed morning show — co-hosted by Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan — will premiere later this spring.
*CNN’s Soledad O’Brien has already lined up the next chapter in her career.
Amid rumors that her morning show “Staring Point” was close to an ending point, new CNN boss Jeff Zucker announced Thursday that he has reached a deal to help O’Brien fund her own production company, titled Starfish Media Group. The company will also develop theatrical and scripted television projects.
O’Brien said the deal will let her do what she wants to do most, confronting difficult topics and telling underreported stories. She’ll also have the opportunity to own her work and the production company is able to sell material to outlets other than CNN.
As for CNN, her employer since 2003, she’ll make three documentaries for the channel and continue as host of the “Black in America” documentary series, which includes a new one for 2013 .
With “Starting Point” in its last days, Zucker said he is developing a new morning show around Chris Cuomo, who is expected to be teamed with Erin Burnett.