Jeffrey Lord is using his CNN political commentator position to defend Donald Trump's most outlandish remarks on the campaign trail. Lord's pro-Trump advocacy has been so over the top that his own colleagues have repeatedly called him out for pushing inaccuracies, defending misogynistic and anti-Muslim remarks, and carrying Trump's “fetid water every day.” Lord's ongoing defense of Trump should not be a surprise, as the billionaire businessman reportedly “helped Lord get his job at CNN.”
Lord Is An Anti-Immigrant Lynching Denier Who Compares Opponents To Nazis. CNN hired Jeffrey Lord, a writer for The American Spectator and NewsBusters.org, as a political commentator in August. He has a history of pushing fringe rhetoric and misinformation. Lord engaged in a “profoundly ahistorical” crusade to deny the lynching of a black man, pushed bogus conspiracies about Democrats, and compared his political opponents to Nazis and the KKK. [Media Matters, 8/11/15]
Donald Trump Reportedly Complained About CNN's Coverage And Suggested They Start Booking Lord. The Patriot-News reported how it was Trump “who likely helped Lord get his job at CNN” :
And while he made it clear that he in no way works for Donald Trump, it was the billionaire who likely helped Lord get his job at CNN. Lord said Trump complained to CNN execs that the network only featured commentators who didn't get him, so CNN asked The Donald who in the world of conservative media he would suggest, and he said Jeffrey Lord, who was by that point a contributing editor of The American Spectator and a columnist for NewsBusters.
“The phone starts exploding from requests from CNN,” he said.
He started doing interviews by phone from his Camp Hill home, and that quickly turned to Skyping. He has found a niche and received positive feedback from those at CNN.
"(Trump) certainly gave CNN my name, but I had to take it from there," he said. [The Patriot-News, 9/16/15]
Lord Presented Trump With An Award In 2013. The Patriot-News wrote of Lord and Trump:
Lord said he was one of the few in political circles who took Trump seriously before he even officially became a candidate, telling people “I think he's going to run, and you shouldn't underestimate him.”
In November 2013, he had occasion to present Trump with the T. Boone Pickens Entrepreneurial Award from The American Spectator. He spent some time with him at Trump Tower and flew down to Washington, D.C., with him for the ceremony. [The Patriot-News, 9/16/15]
Wash. Post's Wemple: Lord Is “A Trump Supporter Who's Willing To Defend The Indefensible At Every Turn.” Washington Post opinion writer Erik Wemple wrote that “CNN has a built-in advantage: One of its very own contributors is a Trump supporter who's willing to defend the indefensible at every turn.” He added that Lord appears on CNN ostensibly just “when the network needs someone to defend Trump” and concluded:
From a hiring spree for its CNN Digital Politics staff, to a pricey set for its debate Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, to its wall-to-wall broadcasts, CNN has invested big-time in the 2016 race. Easily the most bizarre of those investments is Lord himself, the guy who proves that the only people more dangerous than Trump are his supporters. [WashingtonPost.com, 9/18/15]
Lord Defended Trump Over Anti-Muslim Questioner: “Simple Statement Of Fact” The U.S. Has A “Muslim Problem”
Trump Was Criticized For Handling Of Anti-Muslim Questioner. CNN reported of a September 17 Trump town hall event:
“We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims,” an unidentified man who spoke at a question-and-answer town hall event in Rochester, New Hampshire asked the mogul at a rallyThursday night. “You know our current president is one. You know he's not even an American.”
A seemingly bewildered Trump interrupted the man, chuckling, “We need this question. This is the first question.”
“Anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us,” the man, wearing a “Trump” T-shirt, continued. “That's my question: When can we get rid of them?”
“We're going to be looking at a lot of different things,” Trump replied. “You know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening. We're going to be looking at that and many other things.”
The real estate mogul did not correct the questioner about his claims about Obama before moving on to another audience member. [CNN.com, 9/18/15]
Lord: It's “A Simple Statement Of Fact” That America Has A “Muslim Problem.” During a CNN appearance, Lord defended the anti-Muslim questioner by agreeing that there is a “Muslim problem” in the country:
LORD: Jim, you and I know and Ron knows that every other day, when we pick up a newspaper or turn on the television, we are seeing, you know, that authorities have unraveled some plot by Islamic extremists here in this country, all of whom are Muslims. So to say that we have a quote unquote, “Muslim problem” is not to say anything outrageous. It's a simple statement of fact. There's no bias or bigotry to it. We do have a problem here. [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 9/19/15]
Chief National Security Correspondent Sciutto: “You Can't Say You Have Muslim Problem Any More Than You Can Say You Have A Christian Problem.” Jim Sciutto, who was anchoring the CNN program with Lord, rebuked him for his anti-Muslim remarks:
SCIUTTO: No. Well, I'm sorry to say -- you can say you have -- no, no. I got to disagree with you there. You can say you can have an Islamic extremist problem. You can't say you have Muslim problem any more than you can say you have a Christian problem if people who carry out crimes happen to be Christians -- right? [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 9/19/15]
Lord: “Manufactured Media Controversy.” Lord said on CNN that the uproar over the anti-Muslim questioner is a “manufactured media controversy.” [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, 9/18/15]
Lord Alleged Media Double Standard By Falsely Claiming Obama “Never Said Anything” About Rev. Wright. Lord claimed the media wasn't “applying the same standard” to Obama, who “never said anything” about Rev. Jeremiah Wright at his then-church. [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, 9/18/15]
CNN's Lemon Refutes Lord: Obama “Responded To It A Number Of Times ... He Denounced The Statements.” When Lord made the argument that Obama “never said anything” about Rev. Wright, CNN anchor Don Lemon debunked him by noting Obama denounced Rev. Wright's remarks “a number of times.”
LORD: Why, why are we applying the same standard top Barack Obama when he spend 20 years in the fuse (ph) and listen to me here, carefully. I'm a member that same United Church of Christ Denomination. The members run the church they have the ability to fire the minister, Barack Obama examine that (inaudible) listen to anti-Semantics sermons for 20 years and he never said anything, he didn't...
LEMON: He responded to it a number of times, he responded to it a number of time.
LORD: No, Don he sat...
LEMON: In 2008.
LORD: ... for 20 years, he didn't fire the guy. He could have fire the guy, he didn't do it.
LORD: He didn't act.
LORD: Is all the same standard...
LEMON: He has...
LORD: ... he has all (inaudible).
LEMON: ... but he has addressed the issue, he explained why he was there and that he did not see it here or see any of those statements, he has addressed the issue a number of times and he repudiated the statements in left and right. Donald Trump has not done that.
LORD: Yeah because he was going to lose votes if he didn't do it.
LEMON: Let's listen.
LORD: What about when he is not being watched...
LEMON: Let's play this -- let's play...
LORD: Why are going to that.
LEMON: ... I want you to listen to this, this is back in 2008, this is him responding to that, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now, I've already denounced the comments that had appeared in these previous sermons, as I said I have not heard them before. But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS, when he suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century, when he equates the United States wartime efforts with terrorism, then there are no excuses. They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans. And they should be denounced. And that's what I'm doing very clearly and unequivocally here today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So he denounced the statements, whether you want to believed him or not? [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, 9/18/15]
CNN's Rosen: “Jeffrey's Just Factually Wrong. President Obama Did Take On Reverend Wright.” During a September 18 appearance on Wolf, CNN political commentator Hilary Rosen rebuked Lord for claiming that Obama “did nothing” about Rev. Wright. She stated: “Well, first of all, Jeffrey's just factually wrong. President Obama did take on Reverend Wright ... And, in fact, alienated Reverend Wright for a long time.” [CNN, Wolf, 9/18/15]
Trump Attacked Mexican Immigrants As “Rapists” And “Killers.” Trump has repeatedly characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals:
After describing Mexicans who come to the United States illegally as “killers” and “rapists” in his June campaign announcement speech, and garnering substantial media coverage from the resulting outcry, Trump has shown no sign of backing away from the fiery rhetoric.
“What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists,” Trump said in statement Monday declaring his intention to keep speaking out against illegal immigration. [CNN.com, 7/9/15]
Lord: “Trump Was Exactly Right If Deeply Politically Incorrect.” Lord wrote on NewsBusters that Trump was “exactly right” :
In fact, as these stories demonstrate, Trump was exactly right if deeply politically incorrect. There are indeed illegal immigrants coming across the Mexican border and, once here, committing rape. Smuggling drugs. Committing murder. As the above stories indicate -- and they are far, far from alone -- this is literal, repeatedly documented fact -- that the liberal media avoid. [NewsBusters.org, 6/20/15, via Media Matters]
Lord: “There Is In Fact A Very High Crime Rate With Illegals In This Country.” When Lord defended Trump's remarks about undocumented immigrants, CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein corrected him by noting “the best academic evidence is that there is no higher rate of criminality” :
LORD: What he was saying, Ron, which is well-documented that there is in fact a very high crime rate with illegals in this country. I mean Governor Perry said this about how many illegals he had in jails in Texas who had committed all kinds of crimes. That was Governor Perry, not Donald Trump.
SCIUTTO: I want to ask you both a question here.
BROWNSTEIN: I would just say that the best academic evidence is that there is no higher rate of criminality. Look, the broader point, the broader point as several conservative writers have pointed is that, you know, Donald Trump -- the overall world vision is very insular and defensive. I mean the core idea is that the idea of America is being taken away by the changes that are happening. [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 9/19/15]
CNN Found Numerous Factual Problems With Trump's Remarks. CNN's Dan Simon reported that Trump's remarks about Mexican immigrants had numerous factual problems including that studies show “there is essentially no correlation between immigrants and violent crime” and “data does not at all support this categorical statement that undocumented immigrants from Mexico are responsible for large numbers of rapes.” [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, 7/2/15]
Trump Ejected Ramos From Press Conference. Trump kicked out Univision anchor Jorge Ramos during an August press event. Ramos later was allowed to return, and the two had a heated exchange about immigration. [CNN.com, 8/26/15]
Lord Compared Charleston And Virginia Shooters To Ramos. During an appearance on CNN, Lord connected Ramos to Virginia shooter Vester Lee Flanagan II and alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, claiming they all engaged in “dividing the country by race.” Lord said:
LORD: You know, two things that are not being discussed here at all when you read this guy's manifesto, one is race and the other is value of life. And what do we have here? We have this whole Planned Parenthood issue going on in which basically they're selling baby parts, devaluing life.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: But how is that connected to a man who's just, who feels slighted and decides that killing other people is the answer?
LORD: Right. In other words he's not valuing life. He didn't value the lives of the people that he killed. And aside from that, he was into a race war. A reaction, which he mentioned, of the Charleston shooting. And that guy was motivated by race. So I'm suggesting here that instead of dividing the country by race, which is what we seem to do, which is what, for instance, Jorge Ramos was all about in that press conference. It's all about the race of people. We shouldn't be going down that path. This is a color blind country, that was Dr. King's goal, that's where we should be headed, and I think that is something that we should be discussing as well as mental illness and guns. [Media Matters, 8/27/15]
Lord: Ramos Engaged In “Race Card Playing” Even Though He's A “Blue-Eyed, Light-Skinned” “European Mexican.” Writing for The American Spectator, Lord criticized Ramos for being “in Iowa to score a blow for race card playing” by “rant[ing]” against Trump on immigration. Lord dismissed him as “a left-wing illegal immigration activist disguised as a journalist” who fulfills “every stereotype of the smarty-pants rude media type that millions of Americans have come to loathe.” Lord then transitioned to an attack on Ramos' ethnic background. He cited a 2011 column by Ruben Navarrette Jr. stating that in Mexico, many of the most important jobs go to those who “have the lightest skin.” Lord then wrote, “Now let's get back to Jorge Ramos. The blue-eyed, light-skinned Ramos -- let's be candid he is a European Mexican -- is the epitome of what Navarrete is saying.” [Media Matters, 8/27/15]
Lord: Ramos Was “Acting Like A Real Jerk.”
LORD: I think, first of all, in terms of Jorge Ramos, he's an activist. I mean, he's a left wing activist. That's what he was doing. You can ask all the questions he wants. I didn't -- when I was watching this last night, I couldn't even see him much less hear him very much, but I could hear the tone, and I thought, whoever that is, is acting like a real jerk. I didn't know who it was. Then they pull the camera back and I saw who it was. [CNN, Wolf, 8/26/15]
Trump On Fiorina: “Look At That Face! Would Anyone Vote For That? Can You Imagine That, The Face Of Our Next President.” Trump's remarks were widely criticized as sexist. [Rolling Stone, 9/10/15]
Lord: “It's Sexist To Call It Misogynistic ... This Is Hyper Political Correctness, That's What It Is.” Lord responded to complaints about Trump's comments by stating:
ALISYN CAMEROTA: Jeffrey, isn't it misogynistic to talk about women's looks all the time?
LORD: Oh, I think it's sexist to call it misogynistic. What do you think of that?
This is hyper political correctness, that's what it is. And it goes far beyond this thing with Donald Trump. This goes on every day in our society. All day, 24 hours a day. And it's driving people crazy. They hate it. [CNN, New Day, 9/10/15]
Lord On Complaints About Trump's Remark: “This Is Political Correctness To The Max And It Is Wrong.” Lord said following the CNN Republican debate:
LORD: I mean -- well, what he was trying to do clearly was to be amusing because she is -- I mean, the question was asked and that was her answer. So he answered her in kind. Now I think she's, you know, a pretty tough soul here. That's a good thing. You want that in a president if that's what turns out to be. But to be hypersensitive about this stuff, this is political correctness to the max and it is wrong. [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 9/17/15]
CNN's Cupp: Lord Has “To Carry Donald Trump's Decidedly Fetid Water Every Day.” After Lord defended Trump's Fiorina remarks by decrying purported “political correctness,” conservative CNN commentator S.E. Cupp criticized Lord:
CUPP: Yeah, you know, I don't envy Jeffrey having to carry Donald Trump's decidedly fetid water every day. It's not an enviable job and he does it very well, but what Donald Trump says is indefensible. It's indefensible intellectually. It doesn't make any sense to call someone like Ben Carson an OK doctor. That's factually wrong. And believe me, I am a huge critic of Ben Carson. There's plenty to go after Ben Carson on. His neurosurgeon skills probably aren't among them. It's indefensible to call Carly Fiorina a very successful woman that a lot of other people admire, who is running for president ugly, and that should disqualify her. These are disgusting, ad hominem, nonsensical, incoherence attacks that we should all universally agree have no place in the political process. This is not an example of political incorrectness and sort of standing bravely athwart P.C. nonsense. This is gibberish. This is beneath the dignity of the office that these candidates are seeking. [CNN, At This Hour, 9/10/15]
Cupp: “Men, Particularly Of Jeffrey's Generation, Have Defended Misogyny And Misogynistic Attacks For Decades.” Cupp said of Lord's defense of Trump's remarks:
CUPP: No. A face is a face. Trump can't rewrite the English language. And if he -- his raison d'etre is straight talk, then we should take him at his straight talk and assume that he means what he says. That's what he insists. You know, when people like Jeffrey Lord, who I am frequently on television with, discussing Trump, defend what he says, I can kind of understand it. Men, particularly of Jeffrey's generation, have defended misogyny and misogynistic attacks for decades. But what I don't understand Katrina is that you are a beautiful, successful, hard-working woman. How can you possibly defend what Trump has said about men, women, everyone in between? How could you possibly think that that's effective or productive or dignified even in the blood sport like politics? [CNN, Erin Burnett OutFront, 9/10/15]*
*Typos in this transcript, which was directly taken from CNN.com, were fixed after posting.
Trump Attacked Megyn Kelly With “Blood” Remarks. During an August CNN appearance, Trump escalated his feud with Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly by claiming she had “blood coming out of her wherever” during the debate. Kelly had questioned Trump about sexist comments he had made during his career. [CNN.com, 8/8/15]
Lord: Critics Of Trump's Megyn Kelly “Blood” Remarks Are Nazis. Lord wrote in The American Spectator that what followed Trump's comments were “the most disgusting pieces of political analyses I have ever heard in my life. A plu-perfect example of the insight of Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels.”
What has followed has been 48-hours of the most disgusting pieces of political analyses I have ever heard in my life. A plu-perfect example of the insight of Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” There was not a word said, not a hint, not a suggestion, that Donald Trump ever said Megyn Kelly asked her lead question of him because she was menstruating. Say again... not... a... word. Not one. This is -- there is no other word for it -- a Goebbels-esque lie. [Media Matters, 8/10/15]
Lord: People Defending Megyn Kelly Are “Sexist.” Lord claimed on CNN that people defending Kelly were the real sexists:
LORD: Well, first of all, as I said yesterday, I think that the critics here -- you know, it's very interesting. All of this fuss about Megyn Kelly, Donald Trump also said some things about Frank Luntz. Nobody is complaining about that. He also said some things about Chris Wallace. Nobody is complaining about that. Why is that? I would submit to you, it's because this is sexist. They're coming to the defense of a little lady as it were, which is unbelievably sexist. Megyn Kelly, I like her as I said. I think she's a supremely confident, a great reporter. And, you know, clearly, she's being treated by a different standard by a lot of these Republicans. I think that will not go unnoticed here. [CNN, New Day Sunday, 8/9/15]