"CNN Tonight" host Don Lemon declared on his show Monday night that anyone who criticizes the Parkland student gun control activists is "the bad guy."
His comment was made during a back and forth with one of the show's few right-leaning commentators, Tara Setmayer, who pushed back on some of the "radical" rhetoric of the Parkland students who have repeatedly described the NRA and Republicans as having blood on their hands for the horrific mass shooting at their school. In reference to the March For Our Lives protesters, Setmayer said some of their rhetoric was "too much for law-abiding gun owners."
"Some of the rhetoric coming from the Parkland kids is too much," she said, in a moment highlighted by Newsbusters. "I just think that some of them saying that the NRA has the blood of children on their hands—" she began before Lemon cut her off.
"During the election, I heard ... a woman whose son had been killed in Benghazi, and she came out and she said really horrible things about Democrats, about Hillary Clinton, and no one criticized her because she was grieving," said Lemon. "These kids are grieving and of course they're going to say those things," he said, talking over Setmayer, who mentioned how much "attention" the kids were getting.
"You can't criticize the rhetoric because they're victims?" she asked.
"So what? They're kids," said Lemon. "So what?"
Setmayer pushed back by noting that while Lemon is dismissing the extreme rhetoric of the "kids," he and his colleagues are "elevating" the political opinions of those same "kids."
"They're kids, but we're elevating them now to a point now where they're now making policy in America?" she responded.
Lemon then attempted to portray the students as voicing what the "majority" of Americans feel. Setmayer fired back by saying that most Americans don't feel that we should abolish the Second Amendment, like some of the activists have suggested.
"The kids that are getting most of the attention are saying some pretty radical things," she said.
Lemon insisted that the students were not calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment, rather just "sensible gun control." Lemon tried to move on by falsely summarizing her point as being that she just wants the kids to "shut up."
"I don't think they should shut up," she said. "I think they have a right to do this, but if you criticize what they're saying, all of a sudden you're the bad guy."
"You are the bad guy," Lemon declared. "Yes, you are, you are. These kids suffered an unimaginable tragedy. You let them vent, and then you move on."
Lemon then seemed to speak out of both sides of his mouth, asserting that the media is "not elevating" the students, and then immediately saying they "deserve" to be elevated.
"We're not elevating them. And they deserve to have every elevation because of what they went through, and we should listen to them because I can't imagine what they went through," he said nonsensically.
Video below via MRCTV: