Activist Pamela Geller clashed with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday morning, accusing him of “very shallow journalism” and pushing back against a comparison that he made between saying the N-word and drawing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
The heated segment started with Cuomo discussing the Garland shooting that unfolded earlier this month when “would-be jihadists” attacked the venue where Geller’s Muhammad cartoon contest was held, before asking why she’s now trying to publicly post the winning cartoon on Washington D.C. buses.
“The media and the political and academic elites are censoring this cartoon and we think the American people should see that you are self-enforcing the Shariah,” Geller responded.
The conversation heated up after Cuomo, who called the shooters “crazy extremists” who “bought into an ideology that is sick,” accused Geller of calculating her event in a way that would be provocative — a claim that she dismissed as “nonsense.”
“The N-word gets treated the same way that depictions of Muhammad does,” Cuomo said. “We don’t say it because it’s offensive, not because legally I can’t.”
Geller dismissed that comparison and called it a “dishonest narrative,” defending cartoons of Muhammad as political speech that is permissible under the First Amendment. While Cuomo didn’t dispute that fact, he continued to question the wisdom behind it.
“Since when do you care about being offensive?” Geller asked, accusing the CNN host of making past negative statements about her, before continuing to lambaste the N-word comparison. “It’s not analogous … it’s outrageous. It’s a dishonest narrative and I am not going to debate intellectual dishonesty.”
Watch the clash below:
Geller also accused Cuomo of “very shallow journalism” after he asked why she opposed the controversial mosque that was planned near Ground Zero. While she said that she has no problem with mosques in general, she found the proposed house of worship problematic.
“A 15-story megamosque in a building that was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks by the landing gear is deeply humiliating and deeply offensive,” she said. “It was a middle finger to the American people.”
To that, Cuomo countered, “And you don’t see that as what you’re doing with the Prophet Muhammad?” Geller answered that the two are very different from one another, before challenging the host to reveal where he would “draw the line” when it comes to free speech.
“You’re saying no cartoons — that to me is so much more destructive to a free society than alcohol,” she said. “I mean, it’s free speech. It’s a cartoon, Chris. Snap out of it.”