CNN host explodes after guest denies calling Michelle Obama’s Nigerian girl tweets ‘cheap’
A CNN segment about Monica Lewinsky on Thursday turned into a shouting match after one guest criticized First Lady Michelle Obama for her efforts on social media to help kidnapped girls in Nigeria.
During Ashleigh Banfield’s Legal View program on CNN, The Blaze’s Will Cain connected media coverage of Lewinsky to the #BringBackOurGirls movement, which is a social media campaign to call attention to nearly 300 girls that have been kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist organization. Michelle Obama had made news on Wednesday by becoming the most prominent personality to join the campaign.
“We do cheap outrage on TV, we do cheap hashtag activism when it comes to the girls with Boko Haram, and this is cheap,” Cain complained on Thursday.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” CNN contributor Mel Robbins interrupted. “I don’t think you want to connect the activism that got the world to start to pay attention to the girls with what happened with Monica Lewinsky.”
“I’m telling you putting a tweet up with a hashtag, you didn’t do your duty today,” Cain insisted.
“That’s disgusting to say about over 200 girls who are — what do you expect the first lady to do?” CNN host Don Lemon asked.
“I wasn’t necessarily targeting the first lady exclusively,” Cain replied.
“That’s whose photo is on the front page of the paper today,” Lemon pointed out. “So, who are you targeting then when you say that?”
“I said society had gotten cheap,” Cain shot back. “We do cheap outrage on television, we do cheap hashtag activism on Twitter… Every single person, Don! It’s a meme. I didn’t say anything about the first lady! You did!”
Robbins explained that the social media campaign had made a difference because “there had been tremendous confusion for the first two and a half weeks about whether or not the story was even real.”
“And given the fact that they were stolen from an area with no cell phone reception, with no technology, the families used social media and that hashtag that you just called cheap to get the world to pay attention,” Robbins said.
“What have you done?” Lemon asked Cain. “What did you do for those girls? What did you do personally for them? If you’re so outraged by it, what have you done? Besides sit here on television and criticized other people’s efforts, if you’re so concerned about it, what have you done?”
“I’m pointing out something that’s important, Don,” Cain argued.
“If you’re pointing it out, do something to help!” Lemon shouted. “Rather than coming on and criticizing, do something to help!”
“I just think that what he said was a dog whistle for, to say — you’re talking about the first lady,” the CNN host added. “Will, I’m not stupid, and I’ve been on television with you before, and I know your game. And that’s what you were talking about.”
Watch the video below from CNN’s Legal View, broadcast May 8, 2014.