Following a widely circulated interview conducted by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) said that the veteran journalist edited out the first portion of the conversation about donations to legitimate funds for the families and victims of the Orlando shootings of June 12. Moreover, when Cooper brought up her record of opposition to homosexual marriage, she said that he did not choose the appropriate forum for discussing her record.
Bondi reportedly said in 2014 that the recognition of same-sex marriages in Florida would “impose significant public harm.” Cooper pressed her on this.
“Anderson, I don’t believe gay people could do harm to the state of Florida,” Bondi explained to Cooper.
In the wake of America’s worst mass murder, in which 49 people died at the hands of a Muslim terrorist, Bondi said, “There’s a time and place for everything, but yesterday was neither the time nor the place in front of a hospital where we could have been helping victims.”
“I was extremely disappointed in that. The interview was supposed to be about helping victims’ families, not creating more anger and havoc and hatred.”
As for the editing of their heated interview over issues relating to the gay community and the official response to the killings, Bondi said today on New York WOR 710's "Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning” show," “When he posted the clip, he cut out the entire first portion that discussed people donating to legitimate funds.”
She added, “As of last night, we were still going round and round with them to either pull it or post it in its entirety.” Bondi said, "That’s only a clip of what’s been going viral.”
After the dust settled after the carnage at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Bondi reached out to fellow Floridians, saying that anyone who “attacks the LGBT community, our LGBT community, will be gone after with the full extent of the law." Despite her expression of solidarity, Cooper fiercely challenged Bondi’s claims on June 14, claiming the many gays and lesbian consider her a “hypocrite.”
Cooper said, “I have never really seen you talk about gays and lesbians and transgender people in a positive way until now.”
As for helping the gay community after the massacre, Bondi affirmed that her agency is looking into scams that are fleecing Good Samaritans and short-changing eligible victims. “We’ve been dealing with price-gouging issues [and] with potential scams with people trying to donate to legitimate charities,” she said.
“We felt like Anderson Cooper had a huge audience to help people yesterday. He had a real opportunity to bring people together yesterday and talk about what’s right and what’s good, instead of a story filled with anger.”
Raw Story, a progressive news website, accused Bondi of lying about her agency's commitment to diversity.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.