TVNewser’s Mark Joyella writes about what Don Lemon did last night…
On Wednesday night’s “CNN Tonight”, CNN’s Don Lemon again addressed the fallout from his comments on the same program one night earlier. “As a victim myself, I would never suggest any victim could have prevented a rape,” Lemon said at the top of the broadcast, making his second on-air apology of the day.
I already covered why Lemon did suggest just that yesterday so I won’t repeat myself here. I will say it still hasn’t sunk in to Lemon’s head that he crossed a line he shouldn’t have crossed.
This time, however, Lemon brought back Joan Tarshis, who says she was raped by Bill Cosby, and to whom Lemon made the remark “you know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.”
“If I offended you, and I don’t think I did, I’m sorry for that,” Lemon told her. Tarshis said despite the uproar over Lemon’s comments, she was not personally offended. “You didn’t offend me at all.”
This is like saying it’s not harassment if you don’t feel harassed.
Who the hell is advising Lemon at CNN? Whoever it is has done a piss poor job of it. They should have put him on air and forced him to do a full unequivocal apology, whether he really felt that way about it or not, and then put a gag order on him talking any more about this subject.
Instead we have not one but two non-apology apologies followed by Lemon bringing back the woman he suggested could have avoided being raped and basically asking her if he had offended her. What was he looking for? Absolution?
It doesn’t matter if she wasn’t offended if the bulk of your audience was offended. Absolution from your guest is of little comfort if your audience doesn’t absolve you from your reckless insensitivity.
Lemon doesn’t get it. CNN doesn’t get it. Every decision, every utterance, since the original interview has just made matters worse.