Despite the yelling, CNN aired a fairly illuminating panel discussion on Tuesday. Panelists yelled about terrorists and gun culture, and then conservative columnist Kurt Schlichter—who recently wrote fanfic about defeating ISIS with a Marine nicknamed The Wildman—asserted that large numbers of Muslims support radical Islamic terrorism. At that moment, anchor Poppy Harlow did something powerful but simple: She asked Schlichter for his sources.
The edit from Cafe.dom is beautiful in how it zooms in on Schlichter’s stumbling when asked for real data. But the transcript isn’t forgiving either. (See the clip on Mediaite.) “A lot of Muslims believe in this Islamic radicalism nonsense,” Schlichter claims, going on about the ideology before Harlow cuts in.
Harlow: “...We have to be careful when we say a ‘large number’ of any group... What numbers are you specifically talking about?”
Schlichter: “But it is a large number. It’s not one or two guys!”
Harlow: “Tell me what number you’re talking about! If you’re going to put that out there, please give us what number you’re talking about and your sourcing on it.”
Schlichter: [Pauses] “Studies and polls have shown...”
Harlow: “Which studies? Which polls? Which studies? Which polls??”
Schlichter: “Oh you want me to Google it right now? Come on!”
He’s right. The time to Google would have been before making the claim on the air.