The fact that any major news outlet would still treat Frank Taaffe as an “expert” after being exposed for what he is, in this day and age ought to be seen as very troubling. Its even worse given the fact that this is CNN, we’re talking about, not “Fox News.” David Neiwert has more.
Frank Taaffe, a self-styled “expert” who appeared on a number of talk programs on CNN and its Headline News subsidiary to offer his views on racially charged criminal trials, has recently emerged as an entrenched figure in the far-right white supremacist movement. While one of his frequent hosts, Nancy Grace, recently grilled him about his views, the network has neither backed away from using Frank Taaffe nor explained why it has done so at all, particularly without making his background clear to viewers.
Taaffe’s white supremacist background was first exposed last August by Mariah Blake in a thorough piece for Mother Jones, after Taaffe had appeared on a number of CNN programs defending his friend George Zimmerman, the Florida man who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. At the time, CNN made no explanation for using Taaffe as an “expert”, but after Zimmerman’s trial ended in acquittal, Taaffe stopped appearing.
When another racially charged Florida case came along, this time involving a white man, Michael Dunn, who gunned down a young black man after a verbal confrontation at a gas station over “thug music,” Taaffe returned to CNN to discuss the cases, particularly Headline News’ Dr. Drew and Nancy Grace programs.