MEDIA

Journalist Juan Thompson Slams Erin Burnett's 'Contemptible' Use Of 'Thug'

04/30/2015 04:27 pm ET | Updated Apr 30, 2015

CNN journalist Erin Burnett enraged many viewers when she suggested "thugs" was an appropriate word to describe rioters in Baltimore. In a conversation with HuffPost Live on Wednesday, Intercept journalist Juan Thompson echoed the criticisms levied against Burnett, saying he had "nothing but bottomless contempt" for her.

Thompson told host Josh Zepps that Burnett -- who, in a Tuesday interview with Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes, backed city Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and President Obama on their usage of the word "thug" -- was "practically pissed off that she couldn't call black people thugs."

In the CNN interview with Stokes, Burnett added that she hopes she would call her son a thug should he be involved in a similar, violent uprising. Thompson told HuffPost Live the comments were ignorant:

The point is [Burnett's] son will never be in the case where he has to fear being brutalized and attacked and murdered by Baltimore police. He will never be in the case where his spine will have been severed and his family will be without him for the rest of their lives. For her to sit there in that New York studio, in this elitist, sneering tone, to call black youth who are fighting for their lives and for justice "thugs" was contemptible.

The riots in Baltimore, which have grown violent, were sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old who died April 19 after he sustained severe spinal injuries while in police custody. The Department of Justice is now investigating Gray's death.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live's new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

Related on HuffPost:

  • Students from Baltimore colleges and high schools march in protest chanting "Justice for Freddie Gray" on their way to City Hall April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore remains on edge in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, though the city has been largely peaceful following a day of rioting this past Monday. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
  • BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 29: Students from Baltimore colleges and high schools gather before a march to City Hall April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore remains on edge in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, though the city has been largely peaceful following a day of rioting this past Monday. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
  • A member of the National Guard stands outside Baltimore City Hall as marchers protest the death of Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  • Protestors march Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. Hundreds of protesters, many of them students wearing backpacks, marched through downtown, calling for swift justice in the case of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered critical injuries while in police custody. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
  • A protestor raises his fist outside of Baltimore City Hall as marchers protest the death of Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  • A member of the National Guard stands watch outside a neighborhood next to the Mondawmin Mall, scene of some of Monday's riots following Freddie Gray's funeral, as a mother passes with her children, Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. Schools closed Tuesday because of the mayhem, but reopened Wednesday, after the city's first night of a curfew went off without the widespread violence many had feared. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Students from Digital Harbor High School chant "We Love Baltimore" as they march outside City Hall April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore remains on edge in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, though the city has been largely peaceful following a day of rioting this past Monday. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
  • Protestors march to City Hall on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. Hundreds of protesters, many of them students wearing backpacks, marched through downtown, calling for swift justice in the case of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered critical injuries while in police custody. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
  • BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 29: Students from Baltimore colleges and high schools march in protest chanting "Justice for Freddie Gray" on their way to City Hall April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore remains on edge in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, though the city has been largely peaceful following a day of rioting this past Monday. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
  • A man raises his fists during an outdoor concert by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in support of the community in Baltimore, Maryland on April 29, 2015. Riot police in the US city of Baltimore enforced a curfew into the early hours of Wednesday and called it a success, emptying streets scarred by a spasm of rioting and looting. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
  • People participate in a rally for the family of Freddie Gray outside the Maryland state's attorney's office on April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS