CNN’s Don Lemon Problem…
Yes, I’m late to this. Sometimes your paying job’s constraints interferes with your ability to be timely and today was one of those days. Anways…as we all know…CNN’s Don Lemon screwed up again. If you thought the MH370 “Black Hole” question was an eyeroller, that ain’t nothing compared to what he did last night…..
LEMON: Can I ask you this, and please, I don’t mean to be crude, OK?
Uh…yeah you do. Saying you don’t mean to be crude and then deliberately “going there”, when you have the option of not going there means you mean to be crude…
LEMON: Because I know some of you, and you said this last night, that he — you lied to him and said “I have an infection, and if you rape me, or if you have intercourse with me, then you will probably get it and give it to your wife.”
LEMON: And you said he made you perform oral sex.
LEMON: You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.
TARSHIS: Oh. I was kind of stoned at the time, and quite honestly, that didn’t even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have.
LEMON: Meaning the using of the teeth, right?
TARSHIS: Mmhmm. Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking you’re —
LEMON: As a weapon.
TARSHIS: Yeah, I didn’t even think of it.
LEMON: I had to ask.
TARSHIS: No, it didn’t cross my mind.
The outrage was predictable…to everyone except Lemon apparently. Today Lemon issued a non-apology apology…
“I would never want to suggest that any victim could have prevented a rape. If my question to her [Tarshis] struck anyone as insensitive, I am sorry, as that was certainly not my intention,” Lemon said.
Bullshit and double Bullshit. To try and pull the wool over his viewers eyes by claiming that he never wanted to suggest that any victim could have prevented a rape…when he clearly did suggest it:
You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.
…is outright insulting to everyone who saw the clip. You “went there” Lemon. Man up and own it. Don’t try to say that up is really down, left is really right, and your suggestion wasn’t really a suggestion. And to then suggest that his viewers might have felt that was insensitive even though he wasn’t trying to be insensitive is beyond the pale because it clearly was insensitive…to everyone but Lemon apparently.
If I may use Keith Olbermann famously chewing out Bill O’Reilly as a template:
Wrong answer. When you are that wrong, when you suggest that a woman could have prevented a rape and then explain in excruciatingly graphic detail on air how they supposedly could have done just that while ignoring the fact that this supposed “defensive act” still means she’s being raped, you’re supposed to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong,” and then you’re supposed to shut up for a long time.
Lemon did none of that. And I’m not the only one who noticed. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple noticed…
Whereas Lemon today states that he’d never want to suggest a victim could prevent a rape, that’s precisely what he stated last night as a premise to his question about biting. So that’s a problem. Though induction is very selective, Lemon may just get into the Insufficient Media Mea Culpa Hall of Fame with this one.