On Twitter, New Day anchor Chris Cuomo finally responded to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. Last week, she piled on him a second time; this time, specifically referring to what she claimed Chris’ “view is [Pamela Geller]’s not allowed to have a ‘Draw Muhammad’ contest because in his view, he has pronounced that is offensive.”
He responded on Twitter, calling Kelly’s characterization of what he said “BS… period.”
And, he’s right.
A quick playback of the interview in question, and he says, “No one say you don’t have the right – they’re saying is it right, should you do this? Not can you do this?”
A transcript, via CNN, of this part of the interview, below:
CUOMO: Cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed could be coming to the nation’s capital. Pamela Geller, who organized the Prophet drawing contest in Garland, Texas, you remember what happened there. She wants the winning cartoon put on buses and subway stations in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere.
Now, the reason we remember the contest is because we remember what happened. There was an attack by the would-be jihadist, these sympathizers. Now, they got taken out, but the danger was real and present.
Now, Pamela Geller is the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and she’s here to make the case.
You saw how horrible it could be and thank God you are OK. Nobody got hurt, except the bad guys in that situation. Now, to carry this forward and take the cartoon that you know is found offensive especially by extremist types, and make it public. Why is this a good thing to do?
PAMELA GELLER, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FREEDOM DEFENSE INITIATIVE: Well, the media, and the political and academic elites are censoring this cartoon, and we think the American people should see that you are self-enforcing the Sharia. Under the Sharia, you cannot depict Mohammed. I don’t call him the Prophet Mohammed because I’m not a Muslim. It’d be like you saying Jesus Christ our lord and savior. It’s interesting to me that the media always says the Prophet Mohammed. But the fact is, that it’s a fairly innocuous cartoon. And interestingly enough in Europe, after the “Charlie Hebdo” jihad slaughter, all of the media there ran the cartoons and those cartoons were profane, those cartoons were obscene, no media will run this cartoon.
We did not elect the media to relinquish our freedom or our freedom of speech. I think the American people need to see this cartoon. I think the American people need to see this innocuous drawing and what we are adhering to involuntarily.
CUOMO: OK. So, let’s unpack this. Nobody saying you don’t have the right to draw Mohammed or to put a picture of Mohammed anywhere you want, right, because often that gets confused here. People saying, you are chilling her First Amendment rights. How so?
No one is saying you don’t have the right. They’re saying, is it right? Should you do this? Not “can you”.
GELLER: Right. There’s no such thing as “I believe in freedom of speech, but” — once you say “but”, you are nullifying the freedom of speech.
CUOMO: But who is giving you a “but”? They’re saying “we don’t like it”, not “you can’t do it”.
GELLER: I — the organization, American Freedom Defense Initiative, organized an event in the venue where Muslim groups held a “stand with the prophet” conference just a couple of days after Charlie Hebdo in support of Sharia restrictions on free speech. So, we held a conference in defense of free speech. That’s why we were there in Texas.
CUOMO: Right. The criticism is what you did you knew would be provocative, your keynote speaker is an outspoken and provocative person who is obviously an Islamophobe. So, that was something that you knew would draw negative attention.
GELLER: So, anyone —
CUOMO: And then you got negative attention.
GELLER: So, anyone that opposes jihad terror and Sharia is an Islamophobe? That’s what you’re saying.
CUOMO: No, he is a Islamophobe. He is a known and documented person who says ugly things about all Islam. I’m not saying you’re that, but you chose him as your speaker.
GELLER: I chose him as my speaker. We were targeted for slaughter. Hundreds of people standing in defense of freedom of speech were targeted for slaughter and every since that time the media has been attacking me?