CNN Had Booked Holocaust-Denying Candidate on Multiple Shows
Arthur Jones, a Republican congressional candidate described as a "neo-Nazi," was interviewed by CNN's Alisyn Camerota on Thursday morning.
The internet was set ablaze on Thursday by an interview on CNN's New Day morning show. Over six and a half uncomfortable minutes, co-anchor Alisyn Camerota grilled Arthur Jones, an avowed Holocaust denier and racist who will likely be the only Republican on the ticket in Illinois' third congressional district in November.
Jones, reached at his home, told The Hollywood Reporter that, in addition to his New Day appearance on Thursday morning, he was scheduled to sit for an interview on Anderson Cooper's primetime show either on Thursday night or Friday night.
Displeased with his treatment on New Day, Jones said he called a producer for Cooper's show after the interview and told her he planned to cancel his appearance. But the producer told him that the show was "rethinking" his segment and was planning instead to focus on the news of the day, including the Winter Olympics. "We'll reach out to you at another time," Jones said the producer told him, which he called "baloney." (A network insider cautioned that daily bookings change constantly, as the news dictates.)
On the New Day segment, Camerota's first question to Jones was, "Are you a Nazi?" Jones said he doesn't call himself a "Nazi," but, later in the segment, criticized the "Jews media" and the "Jew-party system."
Jones said after the segment that he was "sandbagged" by Camerota. "I expected a little hostility," he said. "I didn't expect outright hatred like that." (Jones said he brought materials to the interview because he expected it to be conducted in person, rather than via a live feed.)
CNN faced significant criticism for booking Jones on New Day, considering his background and views. A spokesperson for the show declined comment on the decision-making process that led to the interview and Jones' complaints about it.
Jones said he was told he would be interviewed by Camerota's co-anchor, Chris Cuomo, but that plans were switched at the last moment.
Asked why he consented to the interview, Jones said he was promised a fair conversation during which he could express his views, which happen to include a belief that the Holocaust was an "international extortion racket by the Jews." (The Illinois Republican Party has disavowed Jones.)
Jones said that he's never been interviewed on Fox News and thinks his anti-interventionist views on the Middle East are the reason why. "Everybody and their brothers have invited me on their show, but not Fox News," he said.