In an interview with Glenn Beck, CNN’s Don Lemon said something that really doesn’t surprise anyone who follows his reporting: He’s a conservative who thinks he tells “the truth” — though many of his “truths” have been endlessly mocked by anyone with critical thinking skills.
For instance, there was that time he agreed with Bill O’Reilly that black people “need to pull up your pants.” Lemon continued, suggesting that black people do not have the right to say the “n-word” in an effort to “take it back” from white racists. He further suggested that black people in Harlem are destroying their community by littering, perpetuated the stereotype that black people drop out of school, and the right-wing favorite claim that the biggest problem in the black community is unwed mothers popping out babies:
Then there was his suggestion that God abducted Flight MH370.
“Especially today, on a day when we deal with the supernatural, we go to church, the supernatural power of God. You deal with all of that,” Lemon said to Brad Meltzer, host of the History Channel’s Decoded. “People are saying to me, why aren’t you talking about the possibility — and I’m just putting it out there — that something odd happened to this plane, something beyond our understanding?” CNN Wordwide president Jeff Zucker advised Lemon, “Don’t be an idiot” after this segment.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74SbI6AEjNg?rel=0&showinfo=0&w=640&h=360]
As Bill Cosby’s accusers were speaking out to the media, Lemon asked Joan Tarshis, the fifth woman to speak out about Cosby allegedly drugging and raping her, why she didn’t just bite his penis. “You—you know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it,” Lemon advised her before asking why she didn’t use her “teeth” to defend herself.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OEEJP5rlao?rel=0&showinfo=0&w=640&h=360]
While reporting on the Ferguson protests, Lemon said that “Obviously, there is the smell of marijuana in the air” shortly after saying he had heard gunshots. This seeming attempt to link marijuana with violence “obviously” did not resonate with people who supported Michael Brown, who has been repeatedly demonized by the Right because he had marijuana in his system.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lulhsFpzHpM?rel=0&showinfo=0&w=480&h=360]
All of these, and his many, many other horrific remarks, are something that would be commonplace on Fox News, or on TheBlaze, the Sarah Palin Channel, or any of the other right-wing repositories of horrific bullsh*t — but not CNN, which should set a higher standard for itself.
But something may explain Lemon’s irrational behavior. On Monday, Lemon joined Glenn Beck for a phone interview — one in which he admitted he is a conservative — though he did attempt to claim he was liberal on some issues.
Political correctness has become dangerous. We have to stop looking for reasons to be offended. We have to allow people leeway to make mistakes in conversations without calling them racists, bigots, stupid, dumb, sellout, or whatever the word your word choice might be. On and on. Not everyone is going to — or should they have to agree with you. In fact, it’s better when people don’t agree with you. That’s how we learn. That’s what conversation is really about. It’s not supposed to be an agree fest. After almost 25 years in the news business, you know who is the most easily offended and the least tolerant? Liberals and progressives. Because many of them don’t really want to hear anyone else’s opinions, but their own. Here’s a tip: If you only agree with people who hold your same political affiliation or who are of your particular race, your particular gender, or ethnicity, you are part of the political correctness run amuck problem.
“I’m glad you played that. I actually said that on the radio program that I’m on. I said much more interesting things on CNN,” Lemon told Beck. “I guess would be subversive from what you call mainstream media, but that’s what I believe. I really do believe that.”
“Do your bosses know that you believe that?” the right-wing pundit asked.
Yeah, they do actually. They do know. I think that’s why I’m there. You know, I’ve been called a bigot and a racist by the right. I’ve been called a bigot racist by the left. Mostly on the left I’m a sellout or an uncle Tom. I don’t believe in pandering I believe in telling people the truth. And people don’t always want to hear the truth. And I believe many times liberals don’t want to hear the truth. You know, if you don’t see their world point of view, they get really vicious because, you know, what are you kidding me? You’re a black man, and you don’t believe certain things that I believe. You know, it’s just really interesting, that box that they put you in.
Lemon said that he’s “conservative on some issues,” and “liberal on other issues.” While he identified as a social liberal in the interview with Beck, his previous remarks regarding his fellow African-Americans and rape victims call that claim into question.
“I think the majority of people feel the same way we do, Glenn. That we should not be run by the right or the left or, you know, conservative versus liberal,” Lemon told Beck. “We should be — you know, we should listen to what is right. And I think it’s going to take people like us standing up and giving voice to that.”
Lemon added that we shouldn’t be calling racists “racists.” According to the CNN anchor, we should be listening to their ideas:
You don’t have to say, hey, you’re racist. Or you’re a fascist. It’s because you may have those particular qualities, but it doesn’t mean you’re of it. And I think we have to start listening to each other. And I think somehow — I don’t know how we’re going to do it. But all the people who have people sort of just wrapped around their fingers or in their heads and they continue to pander to those people, we have to somehow figure how to call out their lies and get people to realize that they’re being pandered to.
Later in the conversation, he told Beck that he is all about “the truth” — “truth” like, when a man is overpowering and raping you, biting his d*ck is an option.
Watch a clip of the interview, below:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOKs-eEjpuU?rel=0&showinfo=0&w=640&h=360]