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I Think CNN Made a Mistake in Doing This

Interviewing a Nazi who has no support will only give him the attention and stature he craves.

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota interviewed Arthur Jones this morning. You can watch the interview here. I think it was a mistake to interview him or give him any attention. Yes, it is news. Yes, Jones is the Republican nominee for a congressional seat. I get all that. But I think the media, in giving him attention, sets him up as something more than he is.

Jones is the Republican nominee because no one else ran. Jones has run repeatedly and every single time other Republicans ran and beat him. But the seat is solidly Democrat. Republicans in Illinois have limited resources. They could not field a candidate everywhere so Jones was able to win this time.

Democrats are now using Jones to say the GOP really is going all alt-right, white supremacist. Jones has been renounced by Republicans across Illinois and at the RNC. No one is helping him. But he has become useful for Democrats to bludgeon the GOP and Jones is happy to help them.

Camerota's interview was fair and sharp. But I think it just reinforces sharply partisan, bitter lines of controversy in the country where there should not here. No Republican is taking Jones seriously or helping him. But having him on and treating him as a credible candidate when he has no chance and no support makes it seem like he is more serious or more supported than he is. It provides more opportunities for people to head to partisan corners. It provides Republicans more opportunity to take shots at CNN. And it is otherwise going to do nothing except help Jones attract more Nazi, fringe nutters.

Republicans have been muttering to themselves since Jones secured the nomination that the media is going to start trotting him out to demand Republicans repudiate him. They believe the media will use Jones against them when there was really nothing they could do to stop him from getting on the ballot and there is nothing they are doing now to help him. As Republicans are more and more convinced the media, including CNN, is out to get them, the mere fact of the interview plays into that grievance.

I think the press should ignore the guy and to the extent the press does not, they're only helping a Nazi get the notoriety he craves.

In most party organizations, they could simply toss him out of the party and pull his nomination. (In the Alabama Senate special election, most of the national GOP wanted the state party to do that to Roy Moore over unprovable allegations that he denied.) The party is free to associate with whoever they want or don't want. I am taking your word for it that he is a Nazi, as I haven't watched, don't plan to, and don't know anything else about him. Tossing him seems like the simple solution to put this issue to bed. Good riddance if the party losing a minuscule percentage of the vote from fringe of Nazis.

Uh, he's going to get votes. Then what will you say?

Um, the Republicans SHOULD renounce an denounce him. They should say "vote for the Democrat here, it is important". That is what they should do, rather than be upset he is being used against them. Get out ahead of it. Fight to get him removed from the ballot. There is a ton of things they could be doing rather than just saying nothing about it.

I have to agree with etbass, Magared and redinabluestate above. Rather than just hate on CNN the Republicans could be repudiating this guy and trying to toss him out of the party. We'll see if they do.

The fact that the Illinois GOP actually let this scumbag run under their banner is to the everlasting shame and disgrace of the Party and that it happened in the Land of Lincoln only makes it worse. We deserve this because we all had to know that CNN would pounce right on it. They're just exploiting our own collective incompetence.

Thank you RINO WHIG Democrat Lite Repubs for proving once again that you are the clueless Party boring on complete STUPID.

I caught that interview this a.m. The guy looked/sounded like a nut with all his ranting about Jews. Whichever Dem runs against him will win in a romp. If only Alisyn had laughed and called him a fool. Otherwise, agree. Watching that was time I'll never get back. CNN needs you back, Erick.

I'm a bit surprised that he is even nominated. I think it would be better to run no one rather than a nazi.

I think it's important that people like Jones run and lose. It shows that the alt-right isn't powerful, and isn't taking over the GOP.

Why are you surprised at CNN is hyping this story? In fact, I'd be surprised if they didn't jump at the chance to dig into a communist red-meat story of associating the Nazis with the GOP any chance they can get.

Surely there must be a Nazi running as a democrat somewhere, right? This stuff doesn't just happen on the right (Arpiao) does it? It's a both-sides thing (Roy Moore), isn't it Erick?

Speaking of Moore: what’s up? There’s been nary a peep about him and his accusers for months now.