CNN’s Lemon on Obama Saying N-word: ‘It’s About Time’

“CNN Tonight” anchor Don Lemon declared “it’s about time” in reaction to President Obama saying the n-word during a podcast on Monday’s “CNN Newsroom.”

Lemon said, “I think actually using the word, right, calling someone the word, obviously, and using it in context to provoke conversation or to have a meaningful conversation, to get people to think about it, those are two different things. So, when you read a headline as the president uses the n-word, he didn’t really use the n-word, he discussed how people use that word. And I think it’s about time he said it, because I think the president now is — you know, it’s his second term, he’s getting towards the end of his second term. And I think now he’s starting to feel like, you know what? I can talk about these things. I don’t have to be the politician that I had to be and he doesn’t have to be so politically correct.”

He added, “I’ve always, and as you know, advocated the use of that word in context, especially if you’re reporting on it. In journalism, it’s important for people to hear it when it has an impact on a society. People don’t call each other, they don’t say, ‘Oh, you’re an n-word.’ Or ‘I want to get rid of all the n-words’. They say the word. I like to use it judiciously. I said it on the earlier broadcast. I don’t know if I’ll say it on this broadcast, I don’t know if I’ll say it on the air, it just — if i feel like it’s important to say it, and it’s in context to the conversation, I will say it and I think that’s what the president did. That’s what he did.”

Lemon also stated that he thinks journalists should only use the n-word if they’re comfortable doing so, and that it doesn’t matter to him what race the journalist is because “you’re a journalist. Journalists are conveyors of the truth. You’re supposed to convey information and give people information, and it’s not to appease people, it’s not to pander to people.” He continued by unfurling a Confederate flag, which he said is “uncomfortable,” but “important for people to see.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett