In a segment Wednesday night on “The Ingraham Angle,” accusations and tempers flared as a liberal and a conservative guest squared off about CNN’s near-unbelievable defense of Antifa.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham set the stage by reviewing the recent defense of the organization by CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Toobin’s interpretation of President Donald Trump’s warning of potential violence surrounding the 2018 midterm elections was that he was telling voters, “I’m Donald Trump and I’ll protect you from the scary black people.”
He then added the bizarre notion that “Antifa is widely perceived as an African-American organization” — and claimed Trump’s warning was an appeal to racism.
“These are the faces of Antifa,” said Ingraham on the program, displaying a very clear collection of recently arrested Antifa members’ mugshots — featuring primarily white faces.
CNN’s Don Lemon had jumped on board the “defend Antifa” train as well. On the show, Ingraham played a clip of Lemon’s saying about the group, “No organization is perfect … One [is a group of] racist fascists. The other group [is] fighting racist fascists. There is a distinction there.”
Panelist Jeffrey Lord (shown above left), a Reagan-era official who formerly worked at CNN, said, “What are they smoking? … They’re out-and-out fascists. [Antifa] should drop the ‘Anti’ [from their name] and just be called ‘Fa.’”
“This is a bad group of people. They’re into violence. They’re into hurting people. They have no business in the American dialogue, period. And for CNN to be lending them support is mind-boggling,” he added.
“How is this a racial issue on the part of CNN?” Ingraham asked media commentator and national talk-show host Chip Franklin (shown above right), also a guest on the program.
“Look. This country’s built on violence, and this president … is the guy that set the climate,” said Franklin, responding to a clip Ingraham played in which the president expressed his hope for a violence-free election.
Franklin then rattled off a number of tired tropes involving the president, in an obviously joking way, “calling for violence.”
Then things got heated — super-heated and super-quickly.
Ingraham told Franklin he was merely reciting leftist talking points.
“You deflected my point,” said Ingraham, redirecting her guest to the topic at hand — CNN’s jaw-dropping stance that Antifa is a laudable organization standing for good.
Franklin again returned to the talking points, saying the country was “built” on “violence” — and noted that there are 300 million guns in this country.
“[Antifa] show[s] up to stop racists,” declared Franklin.
“They are thugs and domestic terrorists,” said Ingraham, citing an event in Washington in which the group was supposedly protesting a couple of dozen white nationalists — but ended up chasing down passing motorists.
“Don’t sell that garbage here on this show,” said Ingraham, responding to Franklin’s mistaken assertion connecting former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon to the horrible incident in Charlottesville.
Franklin then referred to the “people on the Right calling for violence” — and Ingraham accused him of grandstanding.
“These are people standing up against the kind of violence that you’re propagating,” said Franklin.
“You’re telling me this is Donald Trump’s fault?” said Lord incredulously. “Violence is in the DNA of the American Left and always has been.”
“You’re high,” Franklin retorted.
“What? We just played the sound bite where Trump said ‘no violence.’”
“This president comes out every day and calls for violence against people who disagree with his administration,” he added.
“What?” said Ingraham. “We just played the sound bite where Trump said ‘no violence.’”
The look of utter disbelief on Lord’s face upon hearing Franklin’s preposterous statement was priceless.
Franklin then contended that Trump had lied “3,000 times in a year and a half.”
Attempting to wrap up the segment, Ingraham said, “If the Democrats want to appeal to people in the middle, who they need — and Republicans have their own set of challenges — you’ve gotta be very careful who’s running the show on the protest front. And that applies to Charlottesville and it applies to Antifa.”
Check out the video below — then see the tweets:
@IngrahamAngle that last left Commie Democrat Commentator you had on defending Antifa, answered the bigger question. The Democrats problem isn't Trump, but the power that the Democrats are losing because of him being President!
— Tom (@dubitroutfly25) August 30, 2018
— Miss Rhetorical CJ (@8808_c) August 30, 2018
Shortsighted Democratic leaders and Media hosts who are promoting or defending violent groups like Antifa for political ends remind me of Maximilien Robespierre of French Revolution. They’re literally playing with Fire. #IngrahamAngle @IngrahamAngle
— Common Sense (@CommonSenseWise) August 30, 2018
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.