In a segment that aired last night (see below) with Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters and my colleague Dana Loesch, CNN's Don Lemon took Dana to task for an article of mine from late last month in which I was critical of what I was sure was Lemon's unwillingness to criticize Spike Lee for re-tweeting an address the director thought was George Zimmerman's.
Last night, Lemon said that I misinterpreted him; that he had been critical of Lee's actions and that I should've reached out to him before attempting to interpret his reaction in the segment.
And you know what? He's right. He's absolutely right.
This was a case in which I wasn't criticizing what someone had said or done. Instead, I was judging a reaction. But I take Don Lemon at his word and apologize for that without hesitation.
Unfortunately, Lemon couldn't leave it at that.
At the end of the segment, he had to overreach by describing his critics in this way:
But what I do find disturbing, quite honestly, is that they and others like them -- and even some Democrats -- assume that because this network doesn't side with political parties that that automatically makes it a liberal network. I work here, that couldn't be further from the truth.
And what I also find personally disturbing is that the same people assume I'm liberal or a shill for President Obama and Democrats just because I'm on CNN or because I'm African-American or because I don't publicly wear my political affiliation on my sleeve. We all know what they say about 'assuming' -- it makes a 'you know what' out of you and me.
In this case it's also short-sighted and in itself ... profiling.
Laughably, this segment, which Lemon calls "No Talking Points," is nothing more than one big talking point in which he hurls out the buzzword "profiling," including within the context of race.
In other words, in Lemon's mind, no one could possibly have a legitimate complaint against him. His critics can only be engaged in profiling -- including racial profiling. He can't even make a little room for the idea that maybe he could improve in some of these areas.
That is not only an outrageous and irresponsible charge, but for someone who doesn't want to be pegged as a Leftist, that kind of response is an awfully Leftist thing to make.
And where's the evidence to back up the charge? I read Newsbusters and Big Journalism and my own work and I'm pretty sure a comprehensive audit of all three would reveal that those most frequently criticized for "shilling" for Obama are not Black and work at networks other than CNN.
As far as my own work, this might be only the second or third time I've criticized Lemon. Furthermore, most of those on my daily radar are Caucasian and are not at CNN. Moreover, over at Big Hollywood, I was ripping everyone under the sun for attempting to mitigate and cover up the Spike Lee story, including the predominantly white (safe guess) AP and entertainment media. And no one caught more hell from me over the Trayvon Martin story than this guy.
So, yeah, I misread Lemon's reaction. I got it wrong and again I apologize. But for him to be upset (legitimately) over my misinterpretation of his reaction and then turn around and interpret the very heart and character of his critics with the accusation of profiling -- that's not only an outrageous hypocrisy but complete and utter nonsense.
P.S. I did reach out to Lemon via Twitter about this 'profiling' charge. You can read the exchange here and here.
P.P.S. Lemon is right about using the N-word within a news context.
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