CNN’s Don Lemon responded on Tuesday night to outrage over a segment from his show where he and his leftist guests mocked Trump supporters over the weekend as being rednecks by claiming that he could not hear everything that was said and that he was laughing at the joke, not a group of people.
“And one final note that I have for you, because this is personally important to me to address this, OK?” Lemon said in a lowly voice. “Anyone, ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you, I don’t believe in belittling people, belittling anyone for who they are, what they believe, or where they are from.”
“During an interview on Saturday night, one of my guests said something that made me laugh and while in the moment, I found that joke humorous,” Lemon continued. “And I didn’t catch everything that was said.”
“Just to make this perfectly clear, I was laughing at the joke and not at any group of people,” Lemon claimed.
Lemon’s claim does not stand up well to scrutiny because the numerous jokes that were made all mocked a group of people: Trump supporters.
CNN's Don Lemon responds to outrage over his segment where he and others mocked Trump supporters as rednecks
Lemon: “I didn’t catch everything that was said. … I was laughing at the joke and not at any group of people”
The joke was mocking a group of people: Trump supporters pic.twitter.com/21NOtCjTPT
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 29, 2020
NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck debunked Lemon’s patently false claim that he does not “belittle” people with a series of tweets that highlighted past examples of incendiary things that Lemon has said about Trump supporters.
A couple of examples included in Houck’s Twitter thread included:
- January 2018: “Admitting that for all their talk about making America great, the President is playing to a base that welcomes his racism and will enjoy it. That is disgraceful.” “And for all of you who have uttered that tired, lazy, uninformed, uneducated, ignorant response of calling out me and others who call out racist behaviors, racist? You know what you can go do? I can’t say that.”
- August 2018: “We’re up against people who will lie, steal, and cheat, lie to their mother, lie to themselves about what’s right of this country, about truth and facts. If they will ignore any misgiving, any terrible misdeed, any awful saying they will just ignore it for their own political purpose. They will ignore the bigotry and the pettiness and the childishness about what Donald Trump said about me and LeBron James and others just because they want to gain some sort of political clout or they want a few more dollars in tax money. At what cost?”
Former CNN contributor Steve Cortes fired back, writing: “Wow. Just watched @donlemon , expecting an apology for the outrageous mockery he & his guests directed toward millions of voters. Instead, he simply said he was laughing at the joke & not at any people? Well, Don, on behalf of the Deplorables, your non-apology is not accepted!”
Wow. Just watched @donlemon, expecting an apology for the outrageous mockery he & his guests directed toward millions of voters.
Instead, he simply said he was laughing at the joke & not at any people?
Well, Don, on behalf of the Deplorables, your non-apology is not accepted!
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) January 29, 2020
Lemon’s reaction to the incendiary remarks from his leftist guests garnered so much national outrage that the Republican National Committee (RNC) released a campaign ad and a fundraiser based on the video.
“CNN anchor Don Lemon, The New York Times’ Wajahat Ali and winless carnival barker and scam PAC artist Rick Wilson let everyday Americans know what the establishment thinks about them: President Trump’s supporters are just a bunch of illiterate idiots deserving of the elites’ smug derision,” RNC Spokesman Steve Guest told The Daily Wire in a statement. “In a matter of seconds, CNN summed up the elite left’s disdain for half of America.”
Guest added, “Reminder for voters: As Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders campaign across the South for your vote, Lemon, Ali, and Wilson just summarized what these candidates really think of you as they shake your hand and pose for selfies.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.