News| Race In America | Radio Host Who Made "Black Baby" Comment Gets TV Gig

News| Race In America | Radio Host Who Made "Black Baby" Comment Gets TV Gig

Published February 11, 2008

Posted Feb. 14, 2006 – Remember the radio talk show host who kicked off a storm by saying, "that you could abort every Black baby in this county, and your crime rate would go down?"  

He’s back on the job – only he’s graduated to a TV show.

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Some CNN Employees Stunned

In a move that even had employees at the network scratching their heads, CNN has given controversial pundit William J. Bennett a prime-time seat on such shows as Wolf Blitzer’s “The Situation Room.”

Bennett was hired along with commentator and former Republican Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts Jr.

Jonathan Klein, the company's president of domestic operations, responded to all the hype by saying Bennett "explained himself very clearly and well," and was "a guy who had some very evolved thoughts and is not afraid to express them."

BET.com placed a call to CNN and spoke to Edie Emery in media relations and this is what she had to say.

"CNN is committed to providing a variety of perspectives and voices on all issues that we cover.  And, it is in that tradition that CNN hires contributors from all sides of the political spectrum," she said.   

No Apology

Last September Bennett, on his radio show, Morning in America, was answering a caller's question when he suggested that the crime rate would go down if all Black babies were aborted. Bennett said his words were taken completely out of context.

"I was putting forward a hypothetical proposition. Put that forward. Examined it. And then said about it that it's morally reprehensible,” the former secretary of Education said on CNN in Oct. 2005. 

“To recommend abortion of an entire group of people in order to lower your crime rate is morally reprehensible. But this is what happens when you argue that the ends can justify the means," Bennett, who served as Education Secretary under President Reagan, said at the time.

"I'm not racist, and I'll put my record up against theirs,” he said referring to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other critics. "I've been a champion of the real civil rights issue of our times – equal educational opportunities for kids.

"I don't think people have the right to be angry, if they look at the whole thing. But if they get a selective part of my comment, I can see why they would be angry. If somebody thought I was advocating that, they ought to be angry. I would be angry."

"But that's not what I advocate."

Asked if he owed people an apology, Bennett replied, "I don't think I do. I think people who misrepresented my view owe me an apology."

What do you think about CNN's move to hire Bennett?  Click "Discuss Now" to post your comment.

Written by BET-Staff

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