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CNN’s Don Lemon faced outrage on Tuesday after a clip from his show went viral showing him and his CNN contributor guests, Rick Wilson and Wajahat Ali, mocking Trump supporters as unintelligent rubes who couldn’t read or spell and were ignorant of geography.
America, this is what CNN thinks of you…
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 28, 2020
Both Wilson and Ali refused to apologize and basically bragged about it. Wilson claiming it helped amplify his joke. Typically, he failed to see how it proved the point of media’s bias.
Lemon addressed the controversy on Tuesday night, trying to mitigate the damage. He claimed that he was not mocking anyone, but “didn’t catch everything that was said.”
CNN's Don Lemon responds to outrage over his segment where he and others mocked Trump supporters as rednecks
Lemon: “I didn’t catch everything that was said. … I was laughing at the joke and not at any group of people”
The joke was mocking a group of people: Trump supporters pic.twitter.com/21NOtCjTPT
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 29, 2020
“And one final note that I have for you because this is personally important to me to address this,” he said. “Anyone, ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you, I don’t believe in belittling people, belittling anyone for who they are, what they believe, or where they are from. During an interview on Saturday night, one of my guests said something that made me laugh and while in the moment, I found that joke humorous. And I didn’t catch everything that was said. Just to make this perfectly clear, I was laughing at the joke and not at any group of people.”
How lame is that excuse? He actually thanked Wilson during his comment.
Notice the big thing missing in that comment? There was no apology for himself or his ridiculous contributors on behalf of CNN. It was all about him and how he views himself, not about Trump supporters or even his own tiny audience.
But even that claim that he doesn’t like to belittle others was easily disputed by Newsbusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck in a series of tweets, as the Daily Wire observed citing a couple of examples.
January 2018: “Admitting that for all their talk about making America great, the President is playing to a base that welcomes his racism and will enjoy it. That is disgraceful.” “And for all of you who have uttered that tired, lazy, uninformed, uneducated, ignorant response of calling out me and others who call out racist behaviors, racist? You know what you can go do? I can’t say that.”
August 2018: “We’re up against people who will lie, steal, and cheat, lie to their mother, lie to themselves about what’s right of this country, about truth and facts. If they will ignore any misgiving, any terrible misdeed, any awful saying they will just ignore it for their own political purpose. They will ignore the bigotry and the pettiness and the childishness about what Donald Trump said about me and LeBron James and others just because they want to gain some sort of political clout or they want a few more dollars in tax money. At what cost?”
People weren’t buying Lemon’s excuse.
Allegedly the smartest people in the universe and they never seem to catch the part where a guest insulted half of America and were giggling about something else.
Uh huh. Sure.
— Attila the Honeybun. (@TimMansplainsIt) January 29, 2020
@DonLemon and @CNN claim that they are professionals who should be taken seriously, but they mock and belittle millions of people they don’t even know on national television with ignorant stereotypes. It was the most immature display I’ve ever witnessed on a “news” broadcast. pic.twitter.com/hK8sT1FtKd
— gretchen 🇺🇸 | (@bbyoda1941) January 29, 2020
Former CNN contributor Steve Cortes laid into him.
Wow. Just watched @donlemon, expecting an apology for the outrageous mockery he & his guests directed toward millions of voters.
Instead, he simply said he was laughing at the joke & not at any people?
Well, Don, on behalf of the Deplorables, your non-apology is not accepted!
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) January 29, 2020
The RNC already has an ad out using the video and the RNC spokesman Steve Guest gave the Daily Wire a statement.
“CNN anchor Don Lemon, The New York Times’ Wajahat Ali and winless carnival barker and scam PAC artist Rick Wilson let everyday Americans know what the establishment thinks about them: President Trump’s supporters are just a bunch of illiterate idiots deserving of the elites’ smug derision,” RNC Spokesman Steve Guest told The Daily Wire in a statement. “In a matter of seconds, CNN summed up the elite left’s disdain for half of America.”
Guest added, “Reminder for voters: As Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders campaign across the South for your vote, Lemon, Ali, and Wilson just summarized what these candidates really think of you as they shake your hand and pose for selfies.”