What's going on at CNN? On Thursday afternoon CNN's Athena Jones called the Missouri rodeo clown controversy a "firestorm," but CNN's tone changed within a matter of hours.
On Thursday night's Piers Morgan Live, Morgan admitted "it's all a bit silly" and agreed with Newt Gingrich that the outrage over the stunt "is all a bit ridiculous." Then on Friday morning, anchor Carol Costello huffed, "May I be blunt? This whole controversy is being blown way out of proportion and it's just kind of stupid now." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Costello's ire was directed at both sides, those calling for a federal investigation into the clown's act and those clamoring that the President should publicly support the clown's First Amendment rights and oppose his being fired.
"I mean, it's all a bit silly but then he is a clown and my view, I mean, you may shocked by this, Mr. Speaker, I sort of agree with you. I think it is all a bit ridiculous," Morgan told Gingrich on Thursday night. "I would like to register my own support of the First Amendment of the American Constitution," he added later.
Before Costello and Morgan spoke out, Athena Jones's report on The Situation Room treated the matter seriously and noted the outrage on both sides: "The firestorm over this clown act mocking the President has created a firestorm of its own."
NBC's Today was a part of the media "firestorm" on Monday, asking if the stunt was "Rodeo Racism?" and quoting one spectator saying the act was "like an effigy at a Klan rally."