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CNN’s Chris Cuomo explains ‘clumsy’ Constitutionally inaccurate tweet… sort of

CNN’s Chris Cuomo explains ‘clumsy’ Constitutionally inaccurate tweet… sort of

The first rule of holes is not “dig deeper”

After showing the internet how little he knew about free speech yesterday, Chris Cuomo attempted to rectify his Constitutional missteps in a short video.

“I got beat up for this tweet I made; it was a clumsy tweet. I was caught up in a back and forth…” he began.

First, the tweet:

We’ve been searching high and low for Cuomo’s version of the Constitution to no avail. But in the mean time, not only do we say we love the Constitution, we’ve actually read it (though not on the counsel of Cuomo). Our version of the first amendment completely disagree’s with Cuomo’s because it simply states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

But maybe words are hard?

For the full story, see our previous post here, but Cuomo found himself in a “back and forth” because he was misquoting the Constitution and misinterpreting case law. And then doubled down, tripled down, even quadrupled down on his inaccurate statements.

Somewhere along the way, Cuomo decided a rudimentary civics lesson was the best way to explain his misapprehension of rudimentary civics:

“Of course, hate speech is almost always protected under the first amendment. It doesn’t say that in the first amendment, but the case law does. It’s always about the case law in understanding the Constitution. It’s all about how it’s interpreted by our justice system. So I created confusion that I was actually trying to clarify, that’s the irony, but that’s on me.”

“It doesn’t say that in the first amendment” because there’s really no such thing as hate speech. Unless of course you’re a progressive or a despot.

Here's #AMinuteThatMatters – we also tried this on #Periscope today. We'll try to use Periscope during a commercial break tomorrow during the show if you are interested. Thoughts?

Posted by Chris Cuomo on Thursday, May 7, 2015

Gotta love the media establishment — they know so little about what they don’t know.

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Richard Aubrey | May 7, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Cuomo wins. 99.5% of his readers know he’s a liar and an ignoramus. But they already knew that and didn’t care. Somewhere out there, one person bought it.
In the left’s business model, that’s a net profit.

Sammy Finkelman | May 7, 2015 at 5:10 pm

It’s possible Chris Cuomo was confusing “hate speech” with “fighting words” which is anyway a problematical exception.

In late November 1941, Walter Chaplinsky, a Jehovah’s Witness, was using the public sidewalk as a pulpit in downtown Rochester, passing out pamphlets and calling organized religion a “racket.” After a large crowd had begun blocking the roads and generally causing a scene, a police officer removed Chaplinsky to take him to police headquarters. Upon seeing the town marshal (who had returned to the scene after warning Chaplinsky earlier to keep it down and avoid causing a commotion), Chaplinsky attacked the marshal verbally. He was then arrested. The complaint against Chaplinsky stated that he shouted: “You are a God-damned racketeer” and “a damned Fascist”. Chaplinsky admitted that he said the words charged in the complaint, with the exception of the name of the deity.

For this, he was charged and convicted under a New Hampshire statute preventing intentionally offensive speech being directed at others in a public place….

….Murphy wrote:

There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem.

These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or “fighting” words those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.

But even this has to right in front of the people being attacked.

    Estragon in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | May 7, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    He did in fact cite Chaplinsky at one point, whereupon I reminded him that Street v New York and Snyder v Phelps had narrowed the exception considerably, and that if he was going to defend his claim with case law he should try to keep up.

    He did not respond.

    Maybe it was my earlier urging people to give him a break since his Dad is headed to prison. Just trying to be compassionate!

      Milhouse in reply to Estragon. | May 8, 2015 at 1:21 am

      His dad is what?! Since when do we imprison corpses? As far as I know being dead makes one automatically unfit to stand trial.

    “It’s possible Chris Cuomo was confusing “hate speech”…”

    It’s possible you are just trying to confuse the issue. Cuomo is both a dumbass and a liar.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Barry. | May 8, 2015 at 1:51 am

      This was a somewhat meaningful peak into the knee-jerk response of leftist doctrinaire. It demonstrates not just a simple “Ops” fallback riposte but the all-encompassing viewpoint held by creatures of the dark left.

Sammy Finkelman | May 7, 2015 at 5:13 pm

? It is also used in a general sense of words that when uttered tend to create (deliberately or not) a verbal or physical confrontation by their mere usage.

In this Wikipedia article, this is linked to an anti-hate speech law in Canada.

great unknown | May 7, 2015 at 5:19 pm

By Cuomo’s logic, there are no rights protected in the Constitution. Everything is in the case-law interpretation of the Constitution.

That’s rather accurate, with one minor modification: “the case-law interpretation or distortion of the Constitution.”

Sammy Finkelman | May 7, 2015 at 5:26 pm

The Wikipedia article cites a few cases post Chaplinksy

Street v. New York (1969) said that mere offensiveness, like birning a flag, was not enough to invoke the fighting words doctrine. That seems to be right on point with Mohammed cartoons, plus it’s only offensive mostly to terrorists and supporters of terrorist groups.

Cohen v. California (1971) said that if it is not personally abusive, that is, directed at a partivular person, it does not apply.

Gooding v. Wilson (1972) and Lewis v. New Orleans (1974)—said that convictions of people for cursing police officers (specific individuals there) were invalid, because the ordinances in question were overbroad – covered too much.

R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul (1992) said that a statute prohibiting speech or symbolic expression that “arouses anger, alarm or resentment in others on the basis of race, color, creed, religion or gender” – a good definition of hate speech maybe, but something that would prevent much legitimate comment was unconstitutional because it was content-based and viewpoint based content-based and viewpoint-based because it was limited to race-/religion-/sex-based fighting words. To be fair, it had to include everything and every reason something might arouse anger, alarm or resentment.

In Snyder v. Phelps (2011), Justice Samuel Alito wanted to apply the fighting words doctrine to the protests at funerals of the Westboro Baptist Church but the rest of the court didn’t go along.

Now there’s another issue, which is incitement. It seems to me that ISIS is guilty of incitement, although they are outside of the country. But some follower of ISIS might be guilty of that.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | May 7, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    I think Chaplinsky completely misrepresented the concept of “fighting words.” “Fighting words” is/was a defense raised by a defendant to excuse an act (often an assault on the speaker of the words) due to temporary loss of control over one’s temper, caused by words calculated to have that effect, resulting in an immediate violent response. However, “fighting words” are very much in the ears of the hearer, as the same words spoken to another person, with the same calculation to cause him to lose his temper and provoke an assault, could have no effect whatsoever. So “fighting words” can’t be objectively defined, because their effect on individuals in entirely subjective. There are no “fighting words” to exclude from First Amendment protection because they simply can’t be identified – whether or not words fall into the category depend entirely upon the situations in which they are uttered, the intent of the person who utters them, and the reaction of the listener.

    Even if one only considers the intent of the speaker, how are we to determine the speaker’s purpose? What if “You’re a damned Fascist” is true? Can the truth not be spoken if it will provoke a violent reaction? Can a speaker’s right to speak be suppressed/lose its protection under the law when the truth might provoke a violent reaction, or because the speaker intends it to do so?

    Saying that fighting words aren’t protected speech is as stupid as saying “You can’t shout ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater.” What if there’s a fire? Situations and context matter. You have a right to utter “fighting words,” as the target of your words has the right to raise the doctrine in his defense when he’s on trial for popping you in the nose.

    Estragon in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | May 7, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Brandenburg narrowed incitement severely, too – you have to be calling directly for specific actions right now, not talking generally about the need for violent revolution, for example.

Ragspierre | May 7, 2015 at 5:27 pm

“Islamophobia” = observing and commenting on reality concerning Islamism

“Hater” = someone speaking out against sharia and jihad

“Hate speech” = what enough Collectivists call some view (or, “there is NO SUCH THING”)

I’m DONE with this, AND with PC, which is very closely allied. It’s a way to censure your speech and conduct. From now on, married ladies are Mrs.

    Sanddog in reply to Ragspierre. | May 7, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    “From now on, married ladies are Mrs.”

    Personally, I prefer She Who Must Be Obeyed… but Mrs. is acceptable as well. I really dislike Ms.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Sanddog. | May 7, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      When my wife – who really is Cherokee – and I watched Dances With Wolves the first time and we got to the Stands With A Fist character, I looked over at my wife and she knew right then what my sugar-booger name for her would be from there on out.

      NeoConScum in reply to Sanddog. | May 8, 2015 at 9:19 am

      My 4’11”, 95-lb Sicilian Firecracker(And, born on the 4th of July!!)is: The Little BIG Boss or She Who Must AT ALL TIMES Be Obeyed.

      Just a white boy in a mixed marriage.

DaveGinOly | May 7, 2015 at 5:44 pm

The First Amendment can’t possibly exist to protect “nice” speech; “nice” doesn’t require protection – nobody objects to “nice.” “Protection” need only be invoked when something is under assault. Conversely, only something that may be assaulted require protection. Therefore, the amendment must exist to protect speech and thought that comes under assault from people calling for its suppression. If it didn’t, the amendment would have no purpose.

Cuomo, in his assault on “hate speech,” invokes the very protection he denies exists.

The biggest irony is in his original tweet:

dont just say you love the constitution…read it

So ironic.
Telling people that they should read the Constitution while at the same time providing overwhelming evidence of not doing so himself.
Can’t make this up!

But that’s your typical progressive Moronite.
They’re sure that stuff SAYS, and HAVE TO say what they think it should.
And then comes cognitive dissonance, strikes them hard in the face, leaves them looking like the (not funny) clowns they’ve always been.

I’m sure the founders intended the first amendment to protect only speech which everyone finds appealing and uncontroversial.

If only they had included the KEY element of WHO gets to decide what speech is uncontroversial. I’m sure the absence of that verbiage implies that it would be the government…or anyone employed by the government. Because that’s where our rights come from 2 centuries later.

With respect to Reagan: “It isn’t so much that the people in the media are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

Of course, Reagan was referring to liberals, which makes my version somewhat redundant.

Henry Hawkins | May 7, 2015 at 10:02 pm

Much of it is the lib bubble within which all blindly support all, but some of it comes down to human nature and our tendency towards leniency – if not lunacy – when judging ourselves. There Cuomo sits with his law degree and his on-air spot in a field – cable TV news – which has fewer ‘players’ than the NFL or NBA, a highly competitive venue, and he’s thinking to himself, “wow, I MUST be all that to have this gig!” And were he to voice doubt in the CNN break room, he’d quickly get communal reinforcement on the liberal agenda and held, ahem, facts. Doubts evaporate. Among this crowd, an opinion immediately becomes fact for no more reason than a laughably stratospheric self-regard tells itself it is incapable of error – ‘everybody’ says so, but only the bubblemates say so. Imagine Cuomo’s shock and horror when he got the reaction he did.

Hey Chris, get to China yet?

NeoConScum | May 8, 2015 at 9:15 am

Chris: You are Dumb as a Box of Rocks. Stump Stupid. Koolaid consuming and Pinheaded.

Sheeeesh…My apologies to 1.) Rocks…2.) Stumps…3.) Koolaid….4.) Pinheads.

Sammy Finkelman | May 8, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Eugene Volokh about this:

Chris Cuomo mi have gotten this from something put out by the American Bar Association. As with too many people in the mediaa, he didn’t do his own research, and he didn’t double check, or was not skeptical enough to check, something put out by others – not educated enough to know who is reliable and who might be not.