CNN host Don Lemon used part of his two-hour program earlier this week to defend Antifa despite growing criticism toward the organization over violent protests it precipitated in Charlottesville and Washington D.C. earlier this month.
“It says it right in the name: Antifa, anti-fascism, which was what they were there fighting,” said Lemon while explaining his position.
“Listen, no organization is perfect. There was some violence. No one condones violence” he added. “But there were different reasons for Antifa and for these neo-Nazis to be there. One, racists, fascists, the other group, fighting racist fascists. There is a distinction there.”
The remarks were similar to an Antifa defense given by Lemon’s primetime colleague Chris Cuomo a few weeks ago.
“It’s not about being right in the eyes of the law, but you also have to know what’s right and wrong in a moral and a good and evil sense,” said Cuomo. “That’s why people who show up to fight against bigots are not to be judged the same as the bigots, even if they do resort to the same kinds of petty violence. The law will take care of that.”
The defense from CNN — which bills itself as the non-partisan alternative to MSNBC and Fox News — did not delve at much length into any of the actual cases of violence that have been documented.
When Vox editor Jennifer Williams wrote a piece that documented the violence, she said that she received a torrent of public abuse on Twitter and that the emails were even worse.
“The number of emails I’ve gotten in response to this piece from Antifa supporters telling me that journalists and cops are legitimate targets because we’re tools of fascism is really astounding,”
The number of emails I've gotten in response to this piece from antifa supporters telling me that journalists and cops are legitimate targets because we're tools of fascism is really astounding. https://t.co/f4DhdQqqPK
— Jenny from the Vox (@jenn_ruth) August 14, 2018