A Fox News show that facilitated a debate about Donald Trump’s explosive border-crossing policy jumped off the rails after a Trump ally told the Black Democratic consultant that he was “out of his cotton-picking mind.”
“Fox & Friends” host Ed Henry tried futilely to lasso in the two men during their argument on Sunday evening, which was ignited after Democratic communications expert Joel Payne, who is African American, criticized Trump’s allegedly racist policies of separating migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
White House adviser David Bossie, who is White, took umbrage at the sharp rebuke and, at first, chastised CIA Director Michael Hayden for saying the youth detention centers were tantamount to Nazi concentration camps.
“Michael Hayden posted a picture of Auschwitz,” Bossie said.
“Yeah, that liberal Michael Hayden,” Payne retorted facetiously, referring to the fact that Hayden has a reputation as a right-wing conservative. “That screaming liberal.”
“You’re out of your cotton-picking mind!” Bossie blurted out, which incurred Payne’s wrath.
“Cotton-picking mind?” Payne fired back. “Brother, let me tell you something. Let me tell you something, I got some relatives who picked cotton, okay?”
Henry frantically tried to regain control of the segment, insisting Bossie meant to say Payne was simply “out of his mind” before going to a commercial.
Check out the bitter exchange below, as well as the fallout afterward:
After host Henry returned to live TV, he tried to mop up the mess made by Bossie.
“I just want to address what happened in that debate. It obviously got fiery. David Bossie used a phrase that clearly offended Joel Payne and offended many others. I don’t know what David meant by it,” Henry said on the air. “… I will let him address exactly what he said. But I want to make sure (to alert viewers) that Fox News … (does) not agree with that particular phrase.
“It was obviously offensive and these debates get fiery. That’s unfortunate. We like to have honest and spirited debates, but not phrases like that, obviously. And so I will just leave it at that,” Henry continued on the segment.
Bossie has since asked for forgiveness for the outburst via his Twitter account, but that hardly lessened the ferocity of the backlash.
Black Democratic strategist Don Calloway, for example, railed against the White House adviser for another manifestation of Oval Office racism run amok. He also excoriated Fox News for fostering a “culture of pure racism.”
“Forgive me because I’m not comporting myself as professionally as I would like to right now, but this is so far beyond the pale of anything that we should find acceptable in the American discourse today,” Calloway said, according to MSNBC.com. “I just — there’s no excuse, there’s just no excuse for Fox News. There’s no excuse for these milquetoast Republicans, along the rank and file of elected office who lead people in this country, not completely repudiating this nonsense.”