In the Trump era, every news cycle is so full of chaos and confusion that it can be overwhelming to sort through. One solution viewers undertake is to seek out experts in certain fields to help us digest what’s going on in Washington DC, the country, and the world.
Sometimes, though, the “expert” offered is worse than the chaos, and few do more of a disservice to the national conversation than CNN’s “chief legal analyst,” Jeffrey Toobin.
Take, for example, his commentary last week about the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Toobin began by describing the apparent consequences if Kavanaugh fills the seat left by Justice Anthony Kennedy.
“Will Roe v Wade survive? Will universities be allowed to use race in admissions?” Toobin asked. “May bakers and other small business owners say to gay people, ‘You’re not allowed in here,’ and the court says, ‘That’s okay’?”
Wait a minute—did he just suggest that the Supreme Court could determine it’s “okay” for bakers and business owners to not allow gay people in their shops? Yes, he did.
That absurd statement was in reference to the recent SCOTUS ruling about Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple due to his religious beliefs. The court ruled in favor of Phillips, holding that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed hostility towards his religious beliefs when it initially ruled against him in favor of the same-sex couple.
Fortunately, Rick Santorum was there to call out this BS, insisting Toobin knows “that’s not the issue.”
“Oh, they can go in. They just can’t buy anything,” Toobin sarcastically clarified.
“No one said you can’t walk into a bakery and buy a cupcake at a bakery, nowhere! Anywhere!” Santorum scolded his counterpart. “Quit trying to distort it!”
A legal analyst should know what happened in the Masterpiece Cake Shop case, which was a very narrow decision but relatively simple to understand. But, according to Toobin’s so-called analysis, the Supreme Court determined Phillips can refuse any service to LGBT people. As Santorum correctly pointed out, however, that’s just plain false. Religious shop owners are happy to sell gay people cupcakes, birthday cakes, and any other product that isn’t tied to religious ceremonies, and t he Supreme Court’s decision did not allow them to refuse service to anyone.
It’s no surprise that Toobin is painting a doomsday picture of Kavanaugh. He has obviously been dreading this SCOTUS confirmation ever since Kennedy announced his retirement. The moment it happened, Toobin melodramatically cried that Roe v. Wade is “doomed” and said 20 states will outlaw abortion as a result.
What exactly does Toobin contribute to CNN? Does the title of “chief legal analyst” mean his entire job consists of calling everything President Donald Trump says, does, or tweets “obstruction of justice”? Seriously. He can’t stop talking about it.
When he’s not fantasizing about putting Trump behind bars, he’s race-baiting at a level that would make Al Sharpton blush. Perhaps Toobin’s worst offense was when he said that Antifa is “widely perceived as a black organization” after recent Trump comments about violence by the group. Toobin insisted that Trump was going to protect everyone from Antifa’s “scary black people.” The vast majority of Antifa members who’ve been arrested have been white. Toobin simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
He also has this tendency to make these gross comparisons. He aligned himself with the unhinged Resistance by comparing President Trump to North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un. Toobin called separation of illegal immigrants at the U.S. border “Trump’s Katrina.” Has Trump sent his political enemies to death? Were migrant children killed as a result of being separated from their parents? Of course not, but that’s not stopping Toobin from spewing such unhinged rhetoric, all under the guise of “legal analysis.”
Toobin has every right to say these moronic things. Still, for CNN to present him as their “chief legal analyst” while he continues to be dishonest about actual matters of law is a gross disservice to their viewers. The fact that he is trotted out specifically to stoke fear and push a narrative is a disgrace. If that’s what CNN wants him to do, then they are just as shameful.