How does CNN get away with it?
It’s a genuine question: How does a network that is constantly, irrefutably biased and petty continue to get away with it while still having any viewers or advertisers?
The latest CNN talking head to make an utter fool of himself is Don Lemon. On Tuesday, the news channel’s famous host stared into the camera and said something so appalling that it’s hard to believe it wasn’t a parody audition for The Onion.
In one breath, Lemon — an apt name for a failed newscaster — called for Americans to stop demonizing others …
… and in the exact same sentence bluntly demonized half the country by race.
“We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right,” the CNN host declared. “And we have to start doing something about them.”
Take a second and re-read that sentence. Just soak it in. Absorb its raw stupidity.
“There is no white guy ban,” Lemon whined. “So, what do we do about that?”
What’s the context, you ask? Lemon and fellow biased commentator Chris Cuomo were talking about the tragic shooting at a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue. That heinous crime was carried out by an anti-Semite who almost certainly had mental problems.
Here’s a question: How does CNN’s top anchor get away with pretending to be against demonizing people, and then utter a shockingly racial — if not racist — smear against “white men?” And all while pondering how to “do something about them,” as if discussing a pest problem.
That cognitive dissonance, that blatant tone-deafness and inability to hear the words coming out of his mouth on national television would get anybody else immediately fired. Try to picture, say, Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly making the same statement about another race. They wouldn’t last long.
“There is no white guy ban. So, what do we do about that?” – Don Lemon, CNN
At the same time, Lemon’s smear proved the entire point about media bias that conservatives including the president have been making for years. Is it any wonder that people have the urge to chant “CNN Sucks” when that very network declares that millions of Americans are a “terror threat” because of their skin color?
To take that question a step further, is not racial muckraking like Lemon’s utterance exactly what liberals claim triggered recent incidents, including the pipe (non)bomber and the synagogue shooter? CNN’s view that there are countless radicals on hair triggers about to snap is dubious, but if they truly believed this, why fan the alleged flames with their own rhetoric?
Imagine the CNN staff meeting before this segment. “Violence seems to be triggered by racism. Let’s be more racist.” All the while, they lecture the country about unity. It’s just too much.
Since Lemon opened the door to discussing race and violence, let’s step through it. Are facts on his side?
He believes that white people — men specifically — are the scourge of the nation, “the biggest terror threat” and uniquely dangerous. He holds up the Pittsburgh tragedy as Exhibit A. Let’s take a hard look at Pittsburgh, shall we?
Sure enough, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where Pittsburgh is located, has a lot of white citizens. Actually, it’s 80 percent white and 13 percent black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Since there are so many “dangerous” white people, as Lemon laments, they must be just a-terrorizing entire neighborhoods. Right?
Surprise: Despite being only 13 percent of the Pittsburgh area’s population, black offenders commit 87 percent of the murders. Eighty. Seven. Percent.
Whites in the county, despite representing the vast percentage of the citizenry, commit only 12 percent of the homicides. The chances of being “terrorized” and then, well, murdered by a black offender are overwhelmingly higher than by those hateful white people Lemon is so afraid of.
The heinous crime at the Pittsburgh synagogue claimed 11 lives, a tragedy to be sure. But lost in Lemon’s moralizing was the fact that nearly that many people are killed every “normal” month in Allegheny County, with 107 murders in 2017.
Again, over eight in ten of the murderers were black. Lemon conveniently left that part out. It got in the way of his sanctimony.
Not only did he make a statement that is clearly insulting and divisive, the facts show that it is 180-degrees opposite of reality. There is a huge racial disparity in violence in Pittsburgh and the U.S. overall — but not the way Lemon claimed.
In an ideal world, it shouldn’t matter. It would be nice if race didn’t even enter a conversation about crime, but here we are. CNN has chosen to make it an issue by pointing a grubby finger at millions of Americans, all while hypocritically calling for unity.
The sad reality about Lemon’s statement is that he may not want to “stop demonizing people” at all. Clash and acrimony are his bread and butter. At every opportunity to call for unity — and to practice it themselves — CNN doubles down on division … and that should be the biggest outrage of all.