As a veteran of CNN’s Crossfire in the 1980s, I am intrigued by the channel’s decision to bring back the liberal-conservative debate format show. When I was on the program, the motto was, “Don’t talk while I’m interrupting.” The “liberals” on the show this time around are partisan Obama Democrats. In fact, one of them, Van Jones, is possibly to the left of Obama.
Former Speaker of the House and GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, one of the announced conservative co-hosts, can easily take on the liberals and hold his own. His back-up, Sarah Elizabeth “S.E.” Cupp (pictured above), is a former MSNBC host and intellectual lightweight. She is a self-declared atheist who has been campaigning for homosexual marriage. She is a member of “Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry,” a gay-rights front group.
Cupp may be “on the right” on many issues; but on homosexuality, a major controversy that can only get hotter in the months ahead, she is on the liberal side.
The new Crossfire debuts on September 16 at 6:30 p.m., a move that is forcing Fox News, according to sources, to install Sean Hannity as the host of a new program during that time period. Hannity will host his own show in the new time slot with some liberals being offered up as punching bags. It will be a Fox News version of “Crossfire.” He is losing his current 9:00 p.m. program to Megyn Kelly, one of the more liberal Fox News personalities.
The new Crossfire features former Obama campaign official Stephanie Cutter and the disgraced former communist Van Jones as the liberal co-hosts. You may remember that Jones lost his White House job after then-Fox News host Glenn Beck exposed his Marxist background and involvement in the 9/11 “Truther” movement.
Cupp, who describes herself as a “conservative” columnist and commentator, certainly does a lot of media. One of her topics, according to her speakers’ bureau, is “Redefining the Young Conservative.” Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily noted in a column that Cupp is “a flaming libertarian and an atheist,” not a conservative. He made the comments in the context of noting that she should not have been part of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
For her part, earlier this year, on her MSNBC show, Cupp stated that she would no longer speak at CPAC, despite being listed in the program. She objected to the new CPAC policy of refusing gay groups such as GOProud and Log Cabin Republicans from sponsoring the conservative gathering.
“In Cupp’s version of conservative femininity,” writes Amanda Hess, “a woman need not even experience marriage, motherhood, and religious piety in order to promote these values as the most authentic way of living.” Clearly, Cupp is not a traditional conservative with traditional conservative views on marriage and sexuality. She thinks conservatives and Republicans should just move beyond homosexual issues and accept homosexuals and “gay marriage” as legitimate. On the other hand, Gingrich is a solid conservative, from social to economic to foreign policy issues.
By hiring Cupp, whose views are well-known, CNN is also trying to “redefine” the word “conservative.” She also calls herself a Republican, but identifies more completely with the term “Log Cabin Republican,” a reference to the pro-homosexual group. She has been quite open about this, from her perch as a commentator on Glenn Beck’s network.
At one Log Cabin event, she was introduced as a “hot” conservative with a “national profile” who was less expensive as a speaker than Ann Coulter. “This organization means a lot to me because I have so many gay friends,” she said. She talked about, among other things, visiting a gay sports bar, where “the bartenders were topless and gorgeous, just how I like them.” One website features clips of her showing off her legs.
If she does this kind of thing on “Crossfire,” she will alienate, not attract, conservatives to the new show. But perhaps I am just old-fashioned.
Explaining the new show, CNN chief Jeff Zucker notes that Gingrich “is an incredibly smart, intellectual thinker,” and that one of the criticisms of CNN was “that it didn’t have enough conservative points of view on the air [and that] was probably a valid criticism.” He said, in regard to the re-launch of “Crossfire,” that Cupp is “a fantastic addition for us as well.”
Perhaps she will be entertaining and turn in a “conservative” performance on some issues. But on homosexuality, a major issue of our time, she will be either AWOL or on the other side.
If CNN wanted a female conservative with solid credentials on social issues, an excellent selection would have been Cathy Ruse of the Family Research Council. If youth alone was the criterion, Ryan Sorba, a young conservative who has traditional views on social issues like homosexuality, would also have been a good pick.
When I did “Crossfire,” the liberals were the ones with the complaints. They didn’t like the fact that Tom Braden was the regular liberal co-host, usually up against Pat Buchanan. Braden was an anti-communist liberal who in fact had been a CIA operative.
Today, liberals have been transformed into the likes of Van Jones, a one-time member of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, a group that sent people to Cuba to be brainwashed. CNN is trying to rehabilitate him into a mainstream “progressive.” Hopefully, Gingrich will cut him down to size and not shy away from exposing his Marxist record.
This commentary originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)