Rapper and activist Talib Kweli engaged in a spirited battle with anchor Don Lemon on Thursday’s broadcast of “Wolf” from Ferguson.
Kweli said he came to the city because “I felt like it was important to be here and control the narrative because the media has been doing a horrible job of making sure that the stories get out in the right way,” and alleged that CNN’s coverage was an example of this.
Lemon argued back, “I disagree with that, especially with our coverage. I think that we’ve done really great coverage here, and people in the community are actually coming up commending us on our coverage, saying that it’s balanced. We’ve been telling the stories of young black men and their interactions with police officers.”
Kweli then responded, “I don’t think the intention is to not be fair or balanced, but we live in a world that’s run by white supremacy, and that’s the narrative, the narrative and language of the oppressed that’s taken over. On cnn.com right now, you have a story up that says ‘Ferguson calm until bottles fly.’ Well, that’s inaccurate. Because I was there that night. You know what I’m saying? And that’s not what happened. The first thing in the story it says is ‘police chased down men.’”
The two then argued about who was interrupting who and Kweli criticized Lemon for not respecting him or knowing how to pronounce his name, with Kweli threatening to walk off. The two then debated who invited Kweli on the show, and whether Lemon greeted Kweli. Eventually, the two reconciled their differences after several minutes of a contentious interview, with Kweli clarifying that he was only reporting his perspective in his criticism of CNN’s coverage.
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