• June 17, 2021

Exclusive: CNN Praises High Schooler Who Ripped TX Abortion Law

 Exclusive: CNN Praises High Schooler Who Ripped TX Abortion Law


On Thursday afternoon’s CNN Newsroom, co-host Victor Blackwell welcomed on newfound liberal darling Paxton Smith, the Texas high schooler who, according to CNN’s chyron, went “off script, on a mission” during her valedictorian address to blast Texas’ heartbeat bill. Predictably, Blackwell had nothing but praise for the allegedly non-political Smith and tried to turn her into a celebrity with a political career ahead of her.

Echoing Hillary Clinton’s tweet about her (which he would later ask her about), Blackwell wondered: “This certainly did take guts. I read that you typically don’t like to share political or controversial opinions. Why did you decide to talk about this?”

 

 

Sounding more like a partisan than a non-political, controversy-avoiding high schooler, Smith declared:

I felt like reproductive rights were so important and right now they are currently under attack from so many different states with passing of legislation that is restricting abortions all over this — the country, and I felt like it was crucial that I used my platform to reach people who were neutral about the topic or didn’t agree with me on the topic to spread the message this was not okay.

For Blackwell, he actually stated with a straight face that Smith’s off-script political spiel “didn’t feel political, this felt very personal, emotional” and he asked Smith to elaborate: “You seemed nervous as you discussed it, and I want you to take little more time of how this feels as we come to the date when this law is — is enacted?’

Smith replied: “How it feels? It feels terrible. It feels unreal like this could be a dystopian novel that women don’t have that control over their body, and it’s really upsetting to me.”

After going over how Smith will be majoring music at the University of Texas at Austin, Blackwell wistfully wondered whether there’s “activism in your future, or a political future for you as well?”  

Sensing nothing but love from CNN, Smith said maybe and hinted that she may become another one of their favorite youth activists:

I’m waiting to see how things go. I’m going to play it by ear and see what opportunities are open to me in Austin, and see if there’s something that I feel just as strongly about or if this continues to be an issue I’ll continue to speak out about this. But when I get to Austin, I will make a game plan and I can let you guys know.

Following the interview, co-host Alisyn Camerota joined in on the praise: “I mean, just thinking about how nerve-racking that must have been for her, because she didn’t know she was going to get applause from classmates and from the guests. It could have gone any way.”

Blackwell agreed as they went to commercial: “At that age to step out on that platform, on that issue, watching it back, she did — you could tell it was emotional and it was not just something political, very personal. Very personal.” 

Unfortunately, viewers wanting to see CNN interview and sing the praises of a valedictorian who goes viral using their speech to condemn abortion should not hold their breath.

This segment was sponsored by Expedia. Their contact information is linked.

Here is the relevant transcript:

CNN Newsroom with Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell
June 3, 2021
2:52 p.m. Eastern

VICTOR BLACKWELL: This certainly did take guts. I read that you typically don’t like to share political or controversial opinions. Why did you decide to talk about this? 

PAXTON SMITH: I felt like reproductive rights were so important and right now they are currently under attack from so many different states with passing of legislation that is restricting abortions all over this — the country, and I felt like it was crucial that I used my platform to reach people who were neutral about the topic or didn’t agree with me on the topic to spread the message this was not okay. 

(….)

2:54 p.m. Eastern

BLACKWELL: When I watched this, this was not, it didn’t feel political, this felt very personal, emotional, you seemed nervous as you discussed it, and I want you to take little more time of how this feels as we come to the date when this law is — is enacted? 

SMITH: How it feels? It feels terrible. It feels unreal like this could be a dystopian novel that women don’t have that control over their body, and it’s really upsetting to me. 

BLACKWELL: Yeah. You’re going to study music, I read. Is that correct? 

SMITH: Yes. Most likely. 

BLACKWELL: Is there activism in your future, or a political future for you as well? 

SMITH: Potentially. I’m waiting to see how things go. I’m going to play it by ear and see what opportunities are open to me in Austin, and see if there’s something that I feel just as strongly about or if this continues to be an issue I’ll continue to speak out about this. But when I get to Austin, I will make a game plan and I can let you guys know. 

BLACKWELL: What did you feel when you saw that — that tweet from Secretary Clinton? 

SMITH: I was shocked. I was — I was shocked. 

BLACKWELL: Alright, Paxton Smith. Thank you so much. Your — your words are — are resonating online and I know you are getting a lot of reaction. Thank you so much for your time. 

SMITH: Thank you for having me. 

BLACKWELL: Sure. 

ALISYN CAMEROTA: I mean, just thinking about how nerve-racking that must have been for her, because she didn’t know she was going to get applause from classmates and from the guests. It could have gone any way. 

BLACKWELL: At that age to step out on that platform, on that issue, watching it back, she did — you could tell it was emotional and it was not just something political, very personal. Very personal.

CAMEROTA: Yeah.





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