Social networks reacted strongly with indignation after CNN allowed a guest to compare President Donald Trump to the perpetrators of genocide in the 20th century: Hitler, Stalin, and the worst of all, Mao Zedong.
Psychiatrist Allen Francis said in an interview on CNN’s Reliable Sources that “Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, Mao in the last century.”
“He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were. He needs to be contained but he needs to be contained attacking this policies, not his person,” Francis said without being interrupted at any time by anchor Brian Stelter.
Historians cannot put an exact figure on the number of people who died of starvation, torture or execution under the communist regime of Mao Zedong in China (1949-1976).
Some experts believe there were at least 45 million victims, as Frank Dikötter, a Hong Kong-based historian, told the Independent.
Others, like Rudolf Rummel, claim that some 77 million Chinese citizens died at the hands of the communist regime in Beijing in peacetime.
Stalin was responsible for the death of at least 20 million people (1920-1953) under the communist regime of the Soviet Union, and Hitler took the lives of another 20 million human beings.
Both the outlandish statements of the psychiatrist, who offered no proof or explanation of the terrible statement, and the passive attitude of the CNN host, provoked a strong reaction on social networks.
Comments on the interview forced presenter Brian Stelter to write an apology on Twitter:
“I agree that I should have interrupted after that line. I wish I has heard him say it, but I was distracted by the tech difficulties (that’s why the show open didn’t look the way it normally does, I had two computers at the table, etc). Not hearing the comment is my fault,” he wrote.
But most of the comments to his apology show that his explanation was not convincing and many internet users expressed their indignation and disbelief.
“This is fine, Brian Stelter. Keep putting insane guests like this man on to trash the President. You’re actually creating more voters for President Trump. I know many people who are voting for him in 2020 simply because of how the media treats him,” a woman posted on Twitter.
“Absolutely. I basically said the same thing. They let out these absolute lunatics who say such ridiculous things that only make people want to vote for Trump even more,” another person wrote on the social network.
In addition, journalist Ryan Saavedra dismantled this apology and explanation of the facts by pointing out that the program’s official Twitter account, “Reliable Sources,” tweet the program’s video containing the psychiatrist’s controversial statements and, in fact, it is still online.
CNN is extremely critical of President Donald Trump and was very focused on covering the alleged Russian collusion scandal, which turned out to be false.
The television network’s ratings plummeted even further in the second quarter of 2019, after a large drop in the first quarter, according to data compiled by the measurement company Nielsen.
During prime time, the network has lost 40% of its audience, plummeting to 15th place in the national ranking.