Don Lemon attends Us Weekly’s Most Stylish New Yorkers of 2018 party at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP)
You remember that CNN segment from January where Don Lemon, Never Trumper Rick Wilson, and liberal NYT op-ed writer Wajahat Ali all laughed while Wilson mocked conservative Trump supporters as hillbillies who were too ignorant to figure out a map?
That was bad, really bad. But the unhinged rant Lemon went on Monday night before handing off the anchor reins to Chris Cuomo for the night was arguably much worse.
Lemon was clearly agitated about the ‘stay at home’ protests that are happening across the country, protests that are getting bigger as people become increasingly desperate to be able to get back to work in order to put food on the table for their families and pay their rent so they’ll have a place to sleep and be safe.
But for the well-paid Lemon, who looked primped up enough to appear on the cover of a prestigious magazine, the protests aren’t so much about people wanting to get back to work. They are about showing off guns (which was “threatening” to Lemon) and about people who were more interested in getting haircuts and getting back to the golf course than respecting healthcare workers and Democratic government officials who were doing everything they could to keep people safe.
Watch the wild segment below, where Cuomo just nodded his head in agreement:
Don Lemon is very mad on CNN because he thinks people are protesting because they want to get haircuts and to play golf, and they're saying "I want to get back to work, I want my liberty" while holding guns, but those same people get mad at athletes who protest by taking a knee. pic.twitter.com/tANf59XQdv
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) April 21, 2020
Fox News provided a play by play:
“It makes me so angry because every night when I leave this studio and when I come in, there’s an army of people through New York City- an army of immigrants and people of color and poor people who are keeping this city running,” Lemon began the rant during his nightly handoff with colleague Chris Cuomo. “They are disinfecting offices, they are cleaning people, they are changing bedpans, and they are working… And those people are out there complaining that they don’t have haircuts? Who the hell do you think you are?!?”
He continued, “And if you’re so upset about it, then you should blame the president. Because he’s the one who’s supposed to help your small businesses. I understand that you’re hurting, I understand that people are hurting, yes, a lot of people are hurting, but there are people who are frontline workers who have to get out there.”
“You’re slapping the face of the people – the health care workers who put their lives on the line everyday because you want a haircut, you want to go play golf- of course you’re concerned about your business. Tell the president that!” Lemon shouted. “And you’re out there with guns? With weapons strapped to your chest, saying you’re fighting against the people trying to tell you to stay at home, trying to save your lives? You’re upset with those people? In the meantime, there are people who are keeping your cities going, keeping your loved ones alive, and you want to get a haircut? Who the hell do you think you are?!? What is wrong with people?!? I don’t understand what is wrong with people!”
Lemon also compared the ‘stay at home’ protesters to the athletes who have been criticized for taking a knee at sporting events, demanding that ‘stay at home’ marchers “don’t criticize people who are taking a knee at a ballgame” ever again.
“I’m so mad today,” Lemon raged.
There were a number of strawman arguments in Lemon’s diatribe, with one of the most obvious being about how ‘stay at home protesters’ are “slapping” the faces of healthcare workers, which in reality could not be further from the truth. What these protesters want is a gradual return to normalcy that would allow people to begin being able to provide for their families again while at the same time keeping our most vulnerable safe.
Keep in mind, too, that not every state’s situation is the same. Obviously the same “back to normalcy” plan for New York City is going to be vastly different than the plans for cities and states that have much fewer infections. But Lemon is in the NYC bubble that prevents him from being able to see anything beyond the dire situation that has unfolded there over the last month.
But beyond that, most of his rant exposed his Democratic/journalistic privilege and arrogance for all the world to see, much like a segment featuring CNN’s Jim Acosta and Wolf Blitzer did last Friday. Both of them, like Lemon and Cuomo, are well-paid to sit on their lofty perches and fret about people who are protesting for the right to earn a living again.
I mean, how dare anyone question their local and state officials about the data they’re using to keep “stay at home” orders in effect, right?
Perhaps Lemon’s next stunt will be to gratuitously display his freezer full of premium ice cream selections?
As media critic Joe Concha astutely pointed out last week, the people “sitting at studios in multimillion homes or apartments lecturing on TV that it’s a reckless to reopen parts of the economy are more than gainfully employed, well stocked and aren’t feeling the pain/helplessness many Americans w/o jobs/income are.”
On the issue of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak and the millions of Americans who now find themselves out of work and struggling to feed their families and to make ends meet, that take is right on the money (no pun intended).