Brooke Baldwin looking suitably shocked.Source:CNN
Brooke Baldwin looking suitably shocked.Source:CNN

CNN segment goes into meltdown over boob comments


That word does tend to inflame a certain passion in people and it was the catalyst for an extraordinary meltdown on CNN, which ended with anchor Brooke Baldwin cutting off her guests' mics and pulling the plug.

Ms Baldwin was hosting a panel discussion between ESPN Magazine writer Keith Reed and sports radio host Clay Travis. They were supposed to be discussing ESPN anchor Jemele Hill, whom the White House has called to be fired for labelling President Donald Trump a white supremacist.

Ms Hill's supporters say she should not be sacked for exercising her right to free speech, enshrined in the US Constitution's First Amendment. Others, such as Mr Travis, believe it would be hypocritical for ESPN to do nothing, given its some of its staff have been disciplined before for saying the wrong thing.

There's the context. But it all got blown away pretty quickly when Mr Travis, for no apparent reason, brought boobs into the discussion.

"I believe in only two things completely. The First Amendment, and boobs," Mr Travis said, before nonchalantly carrying on with his argument.

"Wait, did you just say?" Ms Baldwin interjected. "Wait, hold on, hold on, hold on, I just want to make sure I heard you correctly, as a woman anchoring this show. What did you just say? You believe in the First Amendment and ..."

"Boobs," Mr Travis replied, emphatically. "Two things that have never let me down in this country's history, the First Amendment and boobs. So those are the only two things I believe in absolutely in the country."

At that point Mr Reed jumped in, berating Mr Travis for being a bit of an idiot. Ms Baldwin was still working out exactly what he had said.

"I just want to make sure I'm hearing you correctly, b-o-o-z-e, or b-o-o-b-s, because as a woman, I'm ..." she started to say.

"I said boobs. I believe in the First Amendment, and in boobs," Mr Travis reiterated.

"Why would you even say that on national television, and with a female host?" she asked.

"I say it live on the radio all the time, because it's true, and that's what I do. Because I like boobs and First Amendment, which is exactly what I said."

As her guests started to talk over the top of each other again, Ms Baldwin decided to abruptly end the segment.

"I'm done. I'm sorry, I'm done. I'm done, this is done. Conversation over, yanking mics. Bye. See ya," she said, before turning to address the audience.

"That was entirely inappropriate. Forgive me that it took a second, it's like, live television happens and you think you hear something, but you're not entirely sure, and then you realise it happened. So I apologise, for him ... and that."

The blow-up didn't end there though. As viewers ripped into him on Twitter, Mr Travis claimed CNN had already invited him back on, and pointed to what he believed was an example of the network's hypocrisy on the matter.

Meanwhile, Ms Baldwin wrote an opinion piece for CNN's website, slamming Mr Travis and calling him "a guest we should never have booked in the first place".

"I just couldn't let this go," she said. "I quickly felt myself turning red, getting irritated and angry. My mind was racing. My face, I could tell, was incredulous. In the thick of it all, I could see my other guest, Keith Reed, was equally aghast.

"The newsroom around me fell silent. I was staring into the camera trying to make sense of what was unfolding on national television. I even caught my cameraman Jay's eyes in disbelief. I thought again: 'It is 2017, and this grown man on my show is talking with me, a female host, about boobs. Is this seriously happening?'

"This is not okay. Speaking to women like this is unacceptable. It is 2017. Why is this even happening?"

She ended her piece with one final jab at Mr Travis.

"As for my guest today - despite what he's tweeting, he won't be coming back on my show - ever."

That pretty much sums it up.

News Corp Australia

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