Charles Barkley slams CNN coverage while promoting GOP debate

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Corporate synergy is a given when media conglomerates have interests in virtually every type of broadcast content. It was still somewhat surprising, though, to see TNT basketball analysts Charles Barkley asked to talk politics on the "Inside the NBA" post-game show as a way of promoting CNN's Tuesday telecast of the Republican presidential primary debate in Las Vegas. Barkley has often commented on cultural matters and occasionally made gestures towards running for governor of his home state of Alabama as a Republican, but he's also prone to speaking his mind without much regard for corporate interests. This segment had more ways to go wrong than it did to go right.

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So, naturally, it didn't take long for the Chuckster to slam CNN's coverage of the GOP primary, top-polling candidate Donald Trump, and various other issues. Here's the CNN criticism:

And here's the money quotes about Trump, whom Barkley criticizes for his racist stances towards Hispanics and Muslims, and the man's supporters, whom Barkley flat-out calls "losers":

It would not be a huge surprise to see Barkley absent from the "Inside the NBA" set next week. Turner employs him in large part because of his willingness to say what he thinks, but that tendency gets most employees in trouble when it involves criticism of the company itself. Barkley said he loves CNN, and these comments could qualify as the tough variety, but that doesn't mean his bosses will be OK with it.

So that's the inside-media take on what he said it. The human one is that much of what Barkley said was absolutely necessary. That's especially true given that the NBA boasts the most diverse fan base of any major American sports league, has employed several Hispanic and many Muslim players (including fellow "Inside the NBA" analyst Shaquille O'Neal), and generally finds itself to the left of most social issues relative to the NFL and MLB. TNT probably would have preferred to talk about the excitement of seeing Trump insult other contenders on stage, but he discussed a small portion of what actually matters, however crude it came out.

Anyway, our guess is that Barkley will only be asked to promote TBS sitcoms in the future. "Angie Tribeca" looks great!

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Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!