Well faithful readers, it’s a new year. While your ever-vigilant crew at Culture War Reporters has certainly enjoyed their break, time marches inexorably on and we’ve got some catching up to do. Why not kick things off with our favorite nemesis and all-around nutjob Don Lemon.
As dedicated readers will certainly recall, CNN anchor Don Lemon is not exactly a good person. Lemon represents everything wrong with the news today: ignorance to facts, obstinance in the face of correction, and glee in chasing whatever headline will pull in the ratings- and all from behind a facade of journalism. And certainly, there are plenty of folks in the media today who are notorious for each of these problems, but few manage the impressive feat of having all them at once, and definitely not with the reach and influence that Lemon has. The man’s the perfect storm of power, obliviousness, stubbornness, and ****y ethics, and yours truly has made a point of keeping an eye on him in the same way that you’d keep an eye on a typhoon brewing off the coast. And I’m sad to say that, no, it looks like Hurricane Don isn’t showing any signs of abating.
Lemon’s latest escapade might not have been his worst, but it’s still pretty dang indicative of how far the news- CNN in particular- has fallen over past decades. Lemon came in to the new year with all the same slip-shod professionalism we’ve come to expect from him, declaring “Nice rack” to co-host Kathy Griffin during their New Year’s Eve coverage. And no, not in some coy “I-whispered-it-without-knowing-the-mic-was-one” gaff. No, ol’ Lemon blurted it out, loud and proud, on national television:
Some might try to come to Lemon’s defense by citing the rumor that he was “drunk” during the time he made that comment- as if that were somehow supposed to be better. Can you imagine any job where that’d fly as an excuse? “Well gee, everybody, I’m sorry I ploughed that big rig into the side of a building, but in my defense I was really hammered.”
Perhaps someone could explain to me- I’m legitimately curious- how a national news anchor is somehow held to a lower standard than a fry cook at a fast food joint or a bagger at a supermarket.
And this is a guy who’s placed himself in the same rank of James Baldwin and Malcom X- both of whom I’d imagine would have some choice words for Don “Black-people’s-problems-come-from-littering-and-racial-profiling-is-a-necessary-evil” Lemon.
But then again, you can always count on Lemon to channel in an undeserved sense of moral outrage- now matter how random. Last year, provided Trump with a venue to smear undocumented immigrants as murderers and rapists. To such ugly and baseless claims, Lemon made no attempt at either correction or protest. Yet when a guest on his show made some off-color comments about Hilary Clinton and the former president, Lemon rushed to cut the interview in a fit of indignation.
Now whether Lemon was actually outraged or if he was simply pretending to be, I won’t claim to know. Considering Lemon’s seemingly arbitrary sense of journalistic integrity, I’m not convinced that even he knows the difference. What I am confident in is that this is yet another damning piece of evidence in the case for Lemon being one of the most dangerous figures in the cultural war.
For anyone who might accuse me of being melodramatic, let’s review the facts again:
- In his interview with Trump, Trump declares that most-all illegal migrants are rapists. Lemon has no issue with this.
- In his interview with Kurt Schlicter, Schlicter puts Hillary down for having stood by her husband [then-president] during his sexual scandal. Lemon goes nuts.
- In fact, in an interview conducted after Trump’s repulsive call for a “ban on Muslims”, Lemon offered no practically no challenge to Trump’s utterly unfounded claims that “Many Muslim friends of mine are in agreement with me. They say, ‘Donald, you brought something up to the fore that is so brilliant and so fantastic.'” and that “I love the people of the Middle East.”
Which would, of course, have been a great time for Lemon to respond with the fact that Trump’s comments have seen a massive backlash in the Middle East, with his name even being removed from properties in some Gulf States.
Or at least to ask who- who– are these “Muslim friends” commending Trump for his racist, xenophobic diatribe.
And, by the way, Lemon failed to correct Trump’s assertion that the wife of the San Bernardino shooter came to the US on a “phony visa”- a statement which is categorically incorrect. In fact, Don Lemon pretty much just lets Trump spew whatever enigmatic nonsense he wants without offering any challenge on any of his absurd statements. I’ve seen first-grade model UNs with more rigorous dialogue. For God’s sake, when talking about his proposal for surveying mosques, Trump looks right at Lemon and states “You know it’s right.”
Decorum be damned readers, if someone were to accuse me of that on national television, I’d interrupt the guy with a some cold hard truth.
Now Lemon did, in his oh-so-limited defense bring up the comparison many of have drawn between Trump’s proposals and the internment camps Japanese Americans were sent to in the 40s. Trump proceeded to bulldoze Lemon, who- either lacking the strength to go on or the attention span to keep the conversation steady- promptly dropped it.
Now some of you might be thinking, “But Gordon, you ever-radiant beacon of hope in these dark and turbulent times, hasn’t the guy had enough already? This is the 3rd annual installment you’re running on the guy. Surely he’s not the only lousy, ethically-bankrupt newscaster out there.”
True, true- Lemon is but one of a few bad apples, but (again) I pick on him not for being the worst-of-the-worst, but for being emblematic of everything I think is wrong with the news.
The way he gives a platform for the worst drivel while he himself has these sudden, self-righteous outbursts over trivialities.
It’s increasingly baffling why this lunatic is still on the air- there’s gotta be scores of dedicated would-be-Cronkites waiting in the wings.
Look, I know we’re not always the greatest people ourselves. As an audience we’re prone to panic over the slightest threat. We lap up gossip, no matter how destructive. We wolf down baseless conjecture and whatever shiny new garbage our TV sets tell us to. But for heaven’s sake- even we deserve better than this.