Bread and Circuses? Piers Morgan Hosts Wingnut Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
If anyone didn't think CNN was sure about what they were getting when they brought on conservative talk show host Larry Elder the night before to discuss the George Zimmerman trial, they didn't leave any doubt the following evening with their choice of guests for Thursday's show.
For anyone not familiar with Peterson, he's a real piece of work:
Right Wing Watch has been keeping an eye on this extremist as well:
Media Matters has got a long list of things this nutbag has said on the air as well here.
And so predictably, here he was calling Trayvon Martin a "thug" and so over the top that one of the other guests on the show finally had to ask, "Where did you get this man from?" I'm sure a lot of other people watching the program were wondering the same thing.
You can read the entire transcript here and I've included some of the worst of it below the fold.
MORGAN: Let me ask you this, though, if for argument's sake the Facebook billionaire owner Mark Zuckerberg, who is famous for wearing hoodies, had he been walking exactly where Trayvon Martin was at 7:00 at night on a rainy dark night and George Zimmerman had seen him, do you think that he would have reacted exactly the same way, got out of his car, pursued him, reported him, and then get into a struggle which ends up with him shooting him dead?
PETERSON: If the situation that happened with Trayvon and George had been the same? Yes, it would -- the same outcome. I imagine the same outcome would have been the same but the question --
MORGAN: You really think George Zimmerman would have looked at a young white man in a hoodie and thought the same thing, that this guy is potential trouble?
PETERSON: Well, George Zimmerman would have done whatever it took to protect himself. It didn't matter to George Zimmerman the color of the man. And this notion that Trayvon Martin was some little innocent kid tiptoeing through the tulips and George Zimmerman had nothing else to do but to go out and kill him is a lie.
It's an absolute lie. And I think that for the people to mislead -- that are in control of this issue to mislead America in that manner, are very dishonest people. Trayvon Martin was a thug. His parents know that. You know that. I know that. And --
MORGAN: Don't you speak for me, sir. Don't you speak for me.
PETERSON: And heard that, know that as well.
MORGAN: Don't put words into my mouth. There is very little evidence that Trayvon Martin was a thug. The only evidence we have of him ever being violent was the altercation with George Zimmerman. A much older man who got out of his car to follow him, ignored directions to follow him, and then got into an altercation, and if you listen to the parents, they'll tell you that Trayvon Martin was clearly -- he felt in fear of his own safety. Where are his rights for self-defense?
PETERSON: Trayvon Martin -- Trayvon Martin was an example of what happens when these black boys and girls are raised in single parents household and if Trayvon Martin was such a good little kid tiptoeing through the tulips, why did they work so hard to keep his history out of the courtroom during the trial?
If he was a good guy, they should have -- they would have been happy to present that evidence, but they kept it out because they know or they knew that Trayvon Martin was a thug and that's what it's all about. He was a pot-smoking, he had been thrown out of school several times --
MORGAN: Are you saying that everyone that smokes pot --
PETERSON: He was found to have marijuana --
MORGAN: Everyone who smokes pot in America is a thug, are they?
PETERSON: Well, you know, there were pictures on his Facebook page of Trayvon Martin carrying -- having -- holding on to a gun, pot in front of him. This wasn't a good little kid. And --
MORGAN: How do you know what he was like? How do you know? I mean, you're saying everyone in America that has ever taken cannabis or ever been pictured with a gun is a thug, is that your -- is that your conclusion?
PETERSON: Before they took his information off of his Facebook page, it was out there for everybody to see.
MORGAN: Where was the evidence that he was a dangerous thug? PETERSON: And then why did they try to keep it -- I'm sorry?
MORGAN: Where was the evidence that he was a dangerous thug?
PETERSON: He would -- he had been in trouble before. He was not some little innocent kid tiptoeing through the tulips.
MORGAN: So you keep saying. So you keep saying.
PETERSON: That's the point.
WALKER: But I am not going to -- I'm not going to debate with you because I love the Lord.
PETERSON: You guys -- you guys are hypocrites because if you truly cared about black Americans, why aren't you upset about the 500 homicides that took place in Chicago last year?
MORGAN: The idea that somehow we can't talk about Trayvon Martin as a case that's important to America because of Chicago is ridiculous.
PETERSON: Well, we can talk about Trayvon Martin. The problem is that this reverend and your other guest as well as Obama and other NAACP and others are using this situation to divide and conquer, and I have to tell you that this sort of thing --
MORGAN: Actually the complete opposite, Reverend Peterson.
SANTANA: Complete opposite.
MORGAN: It's the complete opposite, sir.
PETERSON: America has overcome the fear of being called racist and start to say no to these race hustlers.
PETERSON: This is an attempt to change the gun laws, to gain power and wealth by intimidating white Americans and we saw the same thing in the Paula Deen situation. Paula Deen said the N word -- spoke the N word 30 years ago and she admitted that she did it. And she's lost her --
SANTANA: You talking about Paula Deen. We talking about Trayvon Martin. We talking about black and brown kids. We not talking about Paula Deen.
PETERSON: Like Paula Deen in the same manner that they tried to make an example of George Zimmerman but it did not work. Thank god for that.
SANTANA: No, we're talking about the awareness, giving awareness to these kids so that nothing happens to them in the future. That's what we're talking about. We're talking about --
PETERSON: Why don't you --
SANTANA: We're talking about how we're going to stop this. What?
PETERSON: Why don't you became aware on the black on black crime?
SANTANA: Crime is crime regardless. We're talking about how we're going to stop crime.
PETERSON: And you're not focused on that.
SANTANA: What are you talking about? Well, you want to stop black on black crime give people more jobs, give them more education, give them more opportunities to be successful and to be productive in life. Let's start with doing that. Let's start with doing that.
PETERSON: Piers, I do want to get this out there.
PETERSON: Rachel Jeantel, Jeantel, or whatever her name is, the so-called prime witness in this case, said in an interview recently that Trayvon -- she believed that Trayvon Martin threw the first blow at George Zimmerman, not the other way around --
SANTANA: Well, then that proved he was defending himself. He was being stalked.
MORGAN: Yes. Just to clarify that, Reverend Peterson. Trayvon Martin --
MORGAN: Trayvon Martin had no right to defend himself then in that situation? Only George Zimmerman had the right to defend himself with a gun, right?
PETERSON: Trayvon -- he had a right to defend himself but nothing came out during the trial that George Zimmerman stalked Trayvon Martin, nor did he follow him after he was told not to, and that lie is being put out there in order to divide and conquer, as well, by keeping blacks and whites angry at one another.
MORGAN: The problem is -- the problem is --
PETERSON: And that's a shame on the reverend and anyone else who's pushing this.
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