CNN’s Don Lemon, in a seven-minute discussion with fellow CNNer Chris Cuomo about Rep. Steve King’s “white supremacist” remark to The New York Times, called out President Donald Trump as a bigot, going so far to say that calling him that was not opinion, but fact.
And then he suggested all of Trump supporters were the same. And then he suggested all of America was racist. And then he suggested — and hopefully, with all due respect to Benjamin Franklin, this was indeed just a joke — he suggested his face should appear on the $100 bill.
This is worse than eye-rolling. This is “Call CNN and Complain” worthy.
Here’s how the discussion went down, in context of discussing why Trump hasn’t jumped into the King fray and issued official comments — Lemon said this: “For people who look like me, other minorities … this president has said and done so many insensitive and bigoted and racist things that if you support him, people like me want to understand why.”
Hmm. Evidence, please? Evidence, smevidence. Opinion is fact, dontcha know.
Lemon then went on to say that he didn’t “think every Trump supporter” was “racist” — while in the very next breath chastising that Trump supporters “certainly had to overlook racism and bigotry in order to make that decision, maybe [they] made that decision in the voting booth.”
He continued: “And now, after all of this, if you can still in your mind support this person, why the hell are you overlooking racism so much? It is personal, even deadly, to people like me. That is important.”
In other words: Trump supporters of the country — explain yourself.
“I think this is a big moment for Trump supporters,” Cuomo said. “It is very hard for people to look at what Steve King was saying. His play at ignorance, ‘whatever,’ you know, that’s about him. If [King’s] not smart enough to know what he’s saying is stupid, that’s on him. But for those who support the president, this is a testing moment right now. [Trump] says he’s not a bigot. He says he’s the least racist person you’ve ever met in your life.”
Lemon: “He’s told me that like three or four times in interviews now.”
Cuomo: “Great, great, great. We only know what you show. Now is the moment. This isn’t something that you don’t follow. First of all, that’s B.S., right? He follows everything. … If you support the president, you should want him to come out on this because it will give you the cover that you say that you want, which is ‘he’s not a bigot, I don’t support a bigot.’ Where is he now?”
Lemon: “Come on, really. … I’ve already said — of course he is. Look at the evidence. This is not just my opinion. This is evidence. Data. Actions that have been collected and memorialized, even on tape, over the years. So what’s in question about this? Listen, Steve King is one thing, the president is another. I know you said the president should be speaking out about this. He can’t. He can’t because the bigots and the racists support him. He does not want to lose their support. If he speaks out against Steve King, they’re going to think he’s not one of them again..”
Cuomo: “Some people are ignorant. Some people don’t want to see what’s right in front of their face.”
Translation: Trump supporters.
And then the conversation veered into left field.
“I may not be a woman but I can empathize with the plight of women. I may not be Muslim, but I can empathize with the plight of Muslims. And on and on. I don’t see that trait, that empathy in other people, especially when it comes to race, and that is extremely frustrating to black people in this country,” Lemon said.
He finished: “Let’s see if we’re talking about this next week. … We gotta wake up. We will not be talking about this next week because people don’t care unless they’re involved. People care about money, that’s it. if it’s green, that’s the only color pretty much. i’m just being honest, I’m just being honest. This is who we are. Maybe we should come back as dollar bills, I mean people of color. Then they would care more about racism.”
Cuomo: “I’d like to see your face on some currency by the way. Your head is perfectly shaped for a coin.”
And Lemon: “I’m good looking enough for a $100 bill.”
What else to say — their words speak for themselves. Trump is a bigot, America is racist, and Lemon is so great he deserves his face on U.S. currency. And while we’re at it: CNN is not biased against conservatives.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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