On Friday’s New Day, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota and David Gregory hammered General Michael Flynn after Donald Trump selected him to be his national security advisor. Gregory asserted that Flynn demonstrated “short-sighted, ignorant thinking” and apparently, “jump[ed] the shark into…Islamophobia” over his controversial remarks about Islam. Camerota played up a “fake news” post from Flynn on Twitter, and contended that “there’s a gullibility…that is troubling” with the Tweet. Guest Jason Johnson bluntly labeled the general’s conduct “dangerous,” and accused him of “violent rhetoric.” Camerota and fill-in anchor John Berman brought on Gregory, Johnson, and regular panelist Errol Louis for their reaction to the Flynn pick. Louis first underlined, in part, that the general is “going to…be Trump magnified, as opposed to…a wise counselor to try and reign him in.” He soon added that “there’s reason to be concerned about what happens — especially, when it comes to dealing with Muslim nations.”
Berman followed up by spotlighting a Tweet from Flynn on the issue of Muslims: “Let’s throw up this Tweet from Michael Flynn earlier this year. It says, ‘Fear of Muslims is rational’ — and there’s a video — and it says, ‘Please forward this’ to other people.” He asked Gregory, “So what does this tell us about Donald Trump’s worldview going forward?” The former NBC journalist replied with his “Islamophobia” and “ignorant” labels of the Trump appointee: DAVID GREGORY, AUTHOR, “HOW’S YOUR FAITH?”: Well, the fear is that this doubles down on his darker impulses about the Islamic world. Look…General Flynn has made fair criticisms of how this administration dealt with the rising threat that became ISIS. But then, you jump the shark into this kind of Islamophobia…to say that Islam is a political ideology…and not a religion; to indict four billion Muslims around the globe — I mean, that’s just short-sighted, ignorant thinking. And that’s the kind of impulse that, I think, will give opponents of Donald Trump and watchdogs of Donald Trump a lot of concerns.
Gregory did acknowledge that “General Flynn has received very high marks from military people that I have talked to — very high-level retired, who say that he is first rate as an intelligence analyst and gatherer.” However, he wondered, “The question will be not just those impulses and those kinds of statements, but how does he lead?” Camerota then read the “fake news” Tweet from Flynn “that is so over the top, it’s absurd…’NYPD blows whistle on new Hillary e-mails: money laundering, sex crimes with children, et cetera — must read’ — exclamation point. This comes from a so clearly fake news site, that there’s a gullibility that this suggests that is troubling.” Johnson, who is the political editor for the liberal website TheRoot.com, and is a professor at Morgan State University, responded by using his “dangerous” term about the general and with an attack on President-Elect Trump and Steve Bannon:
JASON JOHNSON, POLITICS EDITOR, THE ROOT.COM: …[L]et’s put this in context: on Monday, President-Elect Trump selected Steve Bannon to be his senior advisor…someone who sympathizes with white nationalist groups — who are basically terrorist groups. And now, he’s got a national security advisor who has said that Muslims should be feared; who’s made very, very aggressive statements about countries that we have to interact with across the globe; and who’s also appeared on…state-sponsored Russian television. — This is dangerous. And Tweeting out fake news suggests to me that not only is he going to continue to spread the, kind of, violent rhetoric that he did throughout the campaign, he’ll continue to do it once…he’s in a position of power — and that is dangerous for everyone in this country.
NewsBusters: CNN’s Gregory, Guest Blast ‘Dangerous,’ ‘Ignorant’ General Flynn