CNN certainly knows how to end an interview when things get a bit out of hand.
Take, for instance, the network’s recent segment with Daniel Di Martino. Di Martino is a Venezuelan expatriate who supports an international force coming to the aid of U.S.-recognized Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó and to end the violence and impoverishment that the country is facing.
He’s also the author of a USA Today piece titled “Venezuela was my home, and socialism destroyed it. Slowly, it will destroy America, too.”
The folks at CNN’s “New Day” were OK with hearing about the first part. However, when Di Martino talked about his piece and issued a stark warning about the Democrats and the direction they were taking, they CNN hosts were much happier to bring the interview to an end.
In the weekend interview, Di Martino talked about growing up in the country back when Venezuela was the darling of the socialist world. He called it “much better than now. I did have what I needed.”
“As time progressed, starting in around 2010 when I have some memories, when I was 11 years old, as well as a little earlier, you could see shortages of food, especially milk, toilet paper.
“By the time I left Venezuela, we didn’t have electricity at least once a week,” Di Martino continued. “Water went out for weeks long. And I was privileged, let me tell you, because I know people who lived in rural areas instead of the city, Caracas, where I lived, and they sometimes didn’t have electricity for weeks. Now people are starving because they don’t even have basic food.”
CNN had no problem with Di Martino so far. However, when he started talking about parallels between Venezuelan socialism and American socialists, that’s when they were less happy to hear him out.
It could be said that anchor Dave Briggs actually asked for it when he talked about the “word of warning” Di Martino gave to Americans over socialist politicians in his Feb. 15 piece.
“Though so many of us Venezuelans fled to the USA to escape from the destructive consequences of socialism, liberal politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. José Serrano, D-N.Y., have praised the same kind of policies that produced famine, mass exodus and soaring inflation in Venezuela,” Di Martino wrote.
“Even worse, in recent weeks, Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar, Ro Khanna and Tulsi Gabbard have mischaracterized the protests against Maduro and condemned President Donald Trump’s widely supported moves to help end Maduro’s dictatorship.
“Additionally, many congressional Democrats support Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, proposals that would nationalize the health insurance industry, guarantee everyone who wants it a job and massively raise taxes, increasing government intervention in the economy like few countries except Cuba and Venezuela have seen before,” he continued. “Proponents think that they can give all Americans quality health care, housing and everything for free and that somehow, politicians can do a better job at running a business than the business owners themselves.”
Di Martino was asked about how he “would warn voters here in this country.” And, well, he certainly warned them.
“Look. There is no further proof of my argument than Bernie Sanders’ statement a few days ago,” Di Martino said.
“He refused to say that Nicolas Máduro was a dictator and refused to recognize Juan Guaidó as the president of Venezuela. Something Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats have done. This is really dangerous.
“Democratic primary voters really need to push out these radical Democrats from their party because not all Democrats are that way,” he continued. “I really urge bipartisan compromise on this issue because if we continue Venezuela with socialism and produce very radical socialist policies toward the United States, the United States might get closer to what we are seeing right now in Venezuela.”
That was a message CNN clearly didn’t want to end on. So Briggs jumped in.
“Now, just to be clear, neither AOC nor Bernie Sanders is pushing for a Venezuelan style of socialism,” he said.
“They want the Green New Deal and Medicaid for all, but you’re saying that is perhaps a path down that road.” And then, just as it looked like Di Martino was about to interject, Briggs said, “But it’s great to have your perspective. Daniel Di Martino, thank you for your time.”
Very subtle, Dave Briggs. Very subtle.
I understand a network has to end a segment. That’s fine. But ending the segment by essentially calling the person’s argument false and then not giving him a chance to respond — after you specifically asked the person about it — is about as CNN-ish as it gets.
They basically blunted his call to push the socialist Dems out of the party and instead tried to make Democrats look better. Nice work.