Things took a weird turn Friday afternoon when CNN’s Brooke Baldwin hosted Fox Sports host Clay Travis for a segment concerning the ongoing Jemele Hill controversy. “I’m a First Amendment absolutist,” Baldwin’s guest declared during an increasingly bizarre rant. “I believe in only two things completely: the First Amendment and boobs.” Up until this point, the conversation was all about Hill’s tweeted comments about President Donald Trump, the White House’s response to them, and ESPN’s apparent mishandling of things behind the scenes. Once “boobs” came up, everything changed.
In an op-ed for CNN Baldwin wrote Friday evening, the anchor wrote “this is not okay. Speaking to women like this is unacceptable. It is 2017. Why is this even happening?” The host acknowledged she felt herself “getting irritated and angry,” and that her “mind was racing” as the newsroom “fell silent,” waiting for her to react to Travis’s comments. She did so by doing something she’d “only a handful of times in my career” and ordered the control room to cut the radio host’s mic. “I want to expose my viewers to other perspectives,” said Baldwin. “But this… was different.”
The television journalist then ended the short piece with a surprisingly sharp jab at the sibling of Travis’s employer, Fox News. “He works at Fox Sports Radio,” she concluded. “Maybe he should learn from folks over at Fox News — being demeaning to women does have consequences.” Considering the network’s multiple (and recent) controversies with sexual assault allegations levied against former employees Eric Bolling, Bill Shine and Bill O’Reilly — not to mention the late Roger Ailes — Baldwin’s intent here is quite clear.