In the last week, the two biggest African American tragedies of 2014—the fall of Bill Cosby and the Ferguson grand jury decision—have been punctuated by Don Lemon saying a stupid-ass thing. It's been a weird week for him.
When a major news story hits, you want your best person on the ground. You send your most empathetic, most fearless, most curious, most intelligent reporter. You want to know that the man or woman you send is going to cut through the chaos of a breaking news event and find the angles the competitors aren't covering.
When that person isn't available, Anderson Cooper is too busy chilling in the "command center," and literally everyone else is white, you send Lemon. When you, the head of a global news organization, wonder Do we have a black guy to send to this? you call Don Lemon.
In a time of crisis for black America, this is the guy we get. We get a host who sounds like your mom attempting to cover Occupy for a major cable news network: If you look out in the distance, you will see a hacky-sack. Oh, wait. Anderson. Yes, I can confirm that the bongos are out. The tofurky stench here is palpable. I'm going to go take cover!
The immediate instinct of most pundits is to pass judgment on the rioters while solemnly intoning pre-written platitudes in order to not seem totally callous to the last few months of turmoil that Ferguson has gone through. Contemplating and analyzing the centuries-old wounds that created this mess takes a lot of time and context—cracking wise about how the protesters are "obviously" smoking pot is easy. And that's what Don did. He immediately trended on Twitter, just as he did last week when he did this:
So, should we even be surprised that Don Lemon, CNN's most prominent African-American on-screen personality, said something stupid? Once you've asked a woman on national TV why she didn't bite Bill Cosby's dick after he allegedly drugged her, the sky is the limit. Don Lemon is not just a mom, he's the most judgmental mom in the entire world. Stop smoking weed, quit letting yourself get raped, stand up straight, fix your tie, you look fat.
The only difference is that your mom isn't on the news when she judges you. Don Lemon is, and he's apparently the best the black media has to offer. While MSNBC drags the corpse of Al Sharpton on camera, and Fox News hands a mic to any black person who is willing to toe the GOP party line, CNN gives us Mommy Dearest in journalist form. There were many tragedies last night, and this was probably one of the less important ones, but still—you guys couldn't have found anyone better?
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