February 22, 2018

CNN's tranquil little discussion about Jared Kushner, nepotism, and security clearances fell right off the track Tuesday night,

First, we had Jeff Toobin just calling it straight out of the gate, which should have ended any question about whether Jared Kushner should remain in the White House after his security clearance was denied. But as the New York Times reported on Tuesday, there seems to be some question about whether Kushner will continue to operate on an interim clearance when everyone else will have to comply with an edict to get a final clearance or clear out.

Toobin first observed that Jared Kushner was a beneficiary of the "lucky sperm club" while just down the word "nepotism" as the root reason Kushner is still in the White House, leading the rest of the panel to rise up in protest.

"Jared Kushner is not qualified for the job he's doing. His only qualification is that he's the son-in-law. He's a modestly successful real estate developer of his father's company -- a member of the lucky sperm club," Toobin said.

Okay, so that was funny and he backed his claim with actual facts about how Middle East peace will not be achieved without classified intelligence from the region and so on. Toobin was solid; the rest of the panel was shaky.

Then we get to Jack Kingston's moment in the sun. Here is the transcript, but it's really much more special if you watch:

KINGSTON: I do think that the idea of sending your son-in-law, though, there is a certain tradition that would be recognized in the Middle East --

COOPER: Kazakhstan, all the great democracies --

(CROSSTALK)

KINGSTON: OK, Saudi Arabia. Don't you think that's a little bit of a --

COOPER: They just imprisoned like half the leadership --

(CROSSTALK)

KINGSTON: -- it's a family business. And I'm just saying --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Full of corruption and --

LIZZA: Jack, this is a terrible argument.

COOPER: You're saying the U.S. should be more like Saudi Arabia?

LIZZA: Our diplomacy should depend on the local customs? Like -- think about --

KINGSTON: I actually think that sending your son-in-law has some symbolism that is diplomatic important in --

COOPER: Like Kim Jong-un sending his sister to the Olympics? That makes no sense!

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: It works well.

(CROSSTALK)

KINGSTON: She was not in the Middle East.

Jack Kingston is a lobbyist who won't disclose for whom he is lobbying. He seems to be occupying the same space that Jeffrey Lord and Ed Martin filled. He brings NOTHING to the conversation. Not one single edifying factual thing. Nothing.

Whoever it is at CNN who thinks their panels need to have some extremist on them to be balanced ought to be fired. Let's hear more about nepotism, and less about how it's somehow culturally welcome for Trump to send his Jewish son-in-law to Saudi Arabia to negotiate Middle East peace.

Give it a rest.

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