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history lesson

CNN host's 'Irish Lives Matter' joke caught on mic at Democrat convention

John King, who is of Irish descent, said he wasn’t making fun of the speaker.

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CNN HOST JOHN King has taken to Twitter to explain an ‘Irish Lives Matter’ quip he was caught making on an open microphone last night during the Democratic National Convention.

King, who is of Irish descent, was heard making the remark during a speech by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney last night.

After a limited (but inevitable) Twitter storm of criticism, King posted the following:

Kenney was making reference to the Know-Nothing political party of the mid-1800s when King was heard making the remark.

Following an influx of Irish and German immigrants to the US in the 1840s, the party called for restrictions to immigration and the exclusion of foreign-born people from voting in the country.

“Does that sound familiar?” Kenney asked the crowd.

“It’s the Irish Lives Matter movement,” King was heard saying.

iizthatiiz / YouTube

The Black Lives Matter movement was founded in the wake of the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012, and has been active in recent years organising protests following the killings of black people by police officers, following a spate of such incidents.

The slogan ‘Blue Lives Matter’ – in support of law enforcement officers – was a refrain among some activists at the Republican convention in Cleveland last week, where campaigners were keen to contrast themselves with the liberal-dominated ‘Black Lives’ movement.

Needless to say, uttering any kind of ‘____ Lives Matter’ jibe, no matter how apposite, probably isn’t a good move for a TV host in the current US political climate.

Read: ‘No return to borders of the past’: Enda and Theresa take first steps into uncertain future >

Read: Michelle Obama wows Democratic Convention crowds with hard-hitting speech >

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