Well. This is one thing that wasn’t on very many people’s 2023 bingo cards.
But, if you did have “GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz will kick off the new year with warm praise for CNN,” on your bingo card, congratulations.
Gaetz, the outspoken Republican firebrand who helped spearhead the initial opposition to Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s path to the gavel, took to Twitter to express, of all things, gratitude for the “Clinton News Network.”
.@CNN is clearly changing.
Today a serious host asked me serious questions about serious issues.
It wasn’t propaganda for either side.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) January 14, 2023
“@CNN is clearly changing,” Gaetz tweeted. “Today a serious host asked me serious questions about serious issues. It wasn’t propaganda for either side. Thank you @smerconish for the thoughtful discussion.”
If it took you a second to digest that, you’re not the only one.
Seeing the two words “Thank you” written about CNN, in a non-facetious manner, is always jarring to see.
To paraphrase Gaetz, this is a very serious Republican, going on a seriously public platform, to offer serious praise for a network that insists on playing damage control for the beleaguered Biden administration.
This is, after all, the same CNN that was once too distracted to notice the new year, the same CNN that needed an on-air therapy session over Elon Musk, and the same CNN that tried to garner sympathy for a transgender murderer.
And yet, if you actually watch the entire clip for Gaetz’s interview with CNN host Michael Smerconish, it’s hard to argue that the two didn’t have a perfectly civil interview on a variety of topics, from putting cameras in Congress to the George Santos controversy.
You can watch the whole clip for yourself below:
Now, there is a giant caveat to all of Gaetz’s gushing: Michael Smerconish is an actual, traditional liberal.
That may sound like he’s cut from the same cloth as the rest of his CNN ilk, but note the key distinction: Smerconish is a liberal, and not a leftist. That means Smerconish still believes in the traditional liberal adage of, “I disagree with what you have to say but will defend to the death your right to say it.”
That alone puts Smerconish at distinct odds with his more far-left, younger contemporaries.
It’s tough to say that this lone interview will smooth over years and years worth of scars in the ongoing culture wars between the left and right.
But, at the very least, it’s an encouraging sign that it is still possible for diametrically opposed ideologies to have a civil discussion, even in today’s aggressively toxic political climate.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.