CNN Fires Right-Wing Nutso Rick Santorum For Public Racism

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CNN has fired former Republican Senator — and former Republican presidential candidate — Rick Santorum, according to a new report from HuffPost. The network previously employed Santorum as a political commentator, and he has now been fired amid outrage over his claim that there was essentially “nothing” in the United States before European settlers arrived. That claim, of course, is not correct and glosses over centuries of violence against Indigenous people across North America.

According to HuffPost, “a CNN senior executive told HuffPost that the network quietly ended its contract with Santorum this week,” and a spokesperson for CNN “also confirmed to HuffPost that the network officially parted ways with Santorum this week,” the publication adds. While at an event hosted by the Young America’s Foundation, Santorum originally commented as follows, sparking the outrage:

‘We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here. I mean, yes, we have Native Americans, but candidly, there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.’

Again — Santorum is obviously majorly incorrect in his assessment. Not only did he completely ignore centuries upon centuries of Indigenous culture in what would become the United States, he also insisted that the elements of Indigenous civilization that persist to this day are somehow not a substantive part of “American culture.” In other words, he was excluding Indigenous people from narratives covering both history and the present day.

According to the CNN executive who spoke with HuffPost, “the decision to cut ties with Santorum came after he went on one of the network’s shows, “Cuomo Prime Time,” to explain himself shortly after he made his racist comments,” as summarized by the publication. The exec adds that “leadership wasn’t particularly satisfied with that appearance,” and “none of the anchors wanted to book him, so he was essentially benched anyway.” Although he claimed that he “misspoke,” Santorum did not apologize for his remarks while on Cuomo Prime Time, instead insisting that his comments had merely been taken out of context. There is no context in which claiming that there was “nothing” in the United States before the arrival of non-Indigenous settlers is accurate or appropriate.