CNN Political Analyst and frequent Trump critic April Ryan sat down with Nation of Islam leader and notorious bigot Louis Farrakhan in 2008 for a softball interview – an interview in which Ryan pleasantly introduced Farrakhan as “the honorable” and did not challenge any of his deranged rants, hateful rhetoric, and false statements, according to a GotNews review of Ryan’s public YouTube channel.
“I’m sitting here with the honorable Mr. Louis Farrakhan, and we just concluded an interview for American Urban Radio Networks, but we wanted to talk a little bit about the situation in Zimbabwe,” Ryan, who has served as American Urban Radio Networks’ White House Correspondent since 1997 and only joined CNN last year, began the interview. The video was posted by Aprildryan on December 12th, 2008, under the title “Minister Louis Farrakhan for Aprildryan.com”:
In the YouTube clip, which runs for almost seven minutes, Ryan proceeds to ask Farrakhan about his thoughts on then-President George W. Bush calling for Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe’s resignation on December 9th, 2008. In doing so, President Bush joined various other political leaders and activists in demanding Mugabe step down, as Zimbabwe was facing a particularly deadly cholera outbreak at the time that had already killed around 600 people, and Mugabe was making his country’s problems much worse by undermining the outside relief efforts for political reasons.
A New York Times story from December 11th, 2008 described how “A ferocious cholera epidemic, spread by water contaminated with human excrement, has stricken more than 16,000 people across Zimbabwe since August and killed more than 780. President Robert G. Mugabe said Thursday that the epidemic had ended, but health experts are warning that the number of cases could surpass 60,000, and that half the country’s population of 12 million is at risk.”
This same story in the Times noted that “As the endgame of the octogenarian Mr. Mugabe’s rule plays out, the human tragedies mount.” Regrettably, the outbreak ending up lasting into mid-2009, by which time it had over 4,000 people in Zimbabwe.
However, one would know none of this from Ryan’s softball interview. Instead, Ryan allows Farrakhan four minutes or so to go on an uninterrupted, unhinged rant about Zimbabwe. Farrakhan praises Mugabe (whom he brags about meeting with), slams the western countries and leaders calling for his resignation, and makes a host of bizarre statements blaming white people in Zimbabwe for the country’s HIV rate, among other problems.
“I can’t go along with Condoleezza [Rice], I can’t go along with Bush – this criminal element that has the gall to call somebody else to resign – Bush should have stepped down after telling the lies that he told to the American people,” Farrakhan raves. “And Britain ought to keep her mouth shut. Let Africa settle Africa’s problems, not the Europeans who have sucked the blood of our people for all of these years. We built London, we built Brussels, we built Paris. It was all built on the backs of blacks and poor people around the world. So let them be quiet about our corruption, because if we are, we learned it from the most corrupt governments in the world,” Farrakhan declares to conclude his rant.
Ryan does not challenge any of the various false, hateful assertions in Farrakhan’s tirade; rather, she uses his mention of corruption to turn the conversation towards then-Governor Rod Blagojevich, who had just been arrested on December 9th, 2008 over corruption charges. “And speaking of corruption again, sir, the issues that’s going on right now here in Chicago and the state of Illinois: the governor,” Ryan tells Farrakhan. “What do you think about him?”
Farrakhan then launches into a new rant, alleging that Blagojevich’s actions prove America is a corrupt, sinful place before exclaiming “And you can NOT deny that I’m telling the truth. Thank you for your questions.” Ryan concludes the interview with a polite “thank you, sir.”
Farrakhan’s name has been in the news several times this year: in January, a photo emerged of then-Senator Barack Obama smiling with Farrakhan at a previously unreported meeting between the Congressional Black Caucus and Farrakhan that took place in 2005. Just several days ago, Tamika Mallory, a national chair of the Women’s March, attended Farrakhan’s “Savior Day” speech in Chicago. According to HotAir, “Farrakhan peppered the speech with racist references to Jews and whites.” Mallory has previously praised Farrakhan on her Instagram account.
Stay tuned for more.
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