CNN's John King: Sykes' Rush Slam 'Probably a Tad Over the Taste Line'
King brought up Sykes during a segment with anchors T.J. Holmes and Betty Nguyen just before the bottom half of the 8 am Eastern hour. After briefly mentioning some of President Obama’s act at the dinner, King mentioned how the comedian “did cause some groans and some -- some uncomfortable moments in the room.” Nguyen replied that “we’ve gotten a lot of traffic on our Twitter and Facebook pages” about Sykes’ attack on Limbaugh, and asked how her act went over. The State of the Union anchor answered:
KING: Some people were laughing because most of the jokes leading up to it were very funny, and people were laughing, and then you could sort of sense a little bit of the oxygen come out of the room -- people start to cringe a little bit. You know, I don’t give personal opinions that often, but I give you one here. I think that one was probably a tad over the taste line, and you could sense that around the room. Even Democrats, who are no fan [sic] of Rush Limbaugh -- a lot of them had a little bit of a cringe at that moment.Over an hour later, during the segment with Matalin and Rosen, King sought their take on the Sykes controversy. He played a sound bite of comedian’s barb, and asked Rosen, “I know you’re not a fan of Rush Limbaugh, but was that over the line?” Rosen came to Sykes’ defense:
ROSEN: You know, Rush Limbaugh gets by on theater -- that’s -- and when everyone -- anyone holds him accountable for his words, when he says things like, ‘I want this administration to fail and I’m proud of it;’ when he makes fun of politicians, his defense is always, ‘Listen, you know, I’m as much entertainment as I am substance.’ Wanda Sykes -- hitting right back in entertainment. I think it’s fair game.Matalin shot back at both Sykes and Rosen, and Democrats in general, in her reply:
KING: Fair game to call Rush Limbaugh the 20th hijacker, Mary?
MATALIN: Well, I rest my case. It’s a perfect example, and it epitomizes what I just said about -- rather, not that it’s Wanda Sykes’ responsibility or within her capacity to make an argument against what Rush Limbaugh talks about every day, which is the essence of conservatism -- she attacks him personally. So it’s just part of what the paradigm is when you confront conservative ideas.
Just like the Democrats can -- let me go back to the torture thing. Torture -- this is not torture. What the enhanced interrogation techniques were -- were legal; they were limited; they were used on waterboarding, which has become all -- is completely blown out of context. It was used on three people, which Nancy Pelosi knew about -- she at least knew about Abu Zubaydah, which led us to KSM, which led us to thwart all those second wave attacks, which saved lives. So much of what we -- made us safe, was classified -- is now coming out in a way that is going to make us less safe in the future.
ROSEN: You know --
MATALIN: So rather than take on those arguments, we call -- we call Rush Limbaugh a drug addict.
KING: Ladies, I’m going to call time-out here, because we’re over time here. I could spend all day with two of my favorite ladies and favorite moms. We’re going to have to call it quits for today, but we will have this conversation, I suspect, many times in the weeks ahead. Hilary Rosen, Mary Matalin, thanks so much for coming in this morning.