On CNN Monday evening, The Lead guest host Jim Sciutto held what passes these days as a relatively routine discussion about whether President-elect Donald Trump should explicitly distance himself from what Sciutto called the "unabashed white supremacists, racists, anti-Semites" in the alt-right movement, notably leader Richard Spencer, who was in Washington over the weekend spewing "what I can only describe as hate-filled garbage," including asking if Jews "are people at all, or instead soulless golem."
Rebecca Berg from RealClearPolitics said that Trump would risk raising the profile of the white nationalist message if he denounced them, especially since he's already hired Steve Bannon as senior adviser. Trump "sort of lit this fire that we're seeing right now," said The Boston Globe's Matt Viser, "and now is afraid to sort of put it out." Throughout the discussion, however, the chyron underneath read: "Alt-right founder questions whether Jews are people."
Lead host Jake Tapper, who is on vacation, tweeted his displeasure over the banner.
Sciutto got the message, and agreed:
Journalists on Twitter didn't need to see the video of Spencer spewing anti-Semitism to know that something changed with Trump's rise to power, as Peter Beinart noted on CNN. Peter Weber