Donna Brazile gave Don Lemon and CNN the dressing down they so richly deserved today after Lemon yesterday ran amok on the network over President Obama’s use of a racial slur during his morning podcast discussion in Los Angeles about racial prejudice in America.
“I’m glad [Obama] tried to make a point. Many people – it went past them. They didn’t understand; they focused on the word and not the meaning and that’s part of the problem,” Brazile, a longtime CNN contributor, said this afternoon of Obama’s choice of words. She never mentioned Lemon by name, but the point was clear.
Lemon was CNN’s go-to guy yesterday to discuss, repeatedly, Obama having used the word. Lemon repeated the word more than once across the day, noting happily when one of the network’s anchors flinched. But his crowning achievement came in primetime, when he kicked off CNN Tonight by holding up a Confederate flag and then a sign on which was printed, in letters about half a foot tall, the racial slur our nation’s first black POTUS had used to discuss racial intolerance. “Does this offend you? This word?” Lemon asked, hopefully, as he teased his show’s upcoming topic, being careful not to obscure his face with the sign, so as to maximize his made-for-social-media moment. Mission Accomplished: he trended on Twitter.
One viewer noted, on CNN’s “commentary” page, “When Don Lemon was speaking with The Blaze‘s Glenn Beck this morning, he said he watched [Fox News Channel’s] Megyn Kelly because you never know what she’s going to say. The same thing can be said for Lemon after today,” adding, gleefully, “I don’t think anyone would’ve thought that Don Lemon would’ve started his show that way.”
Think again, pookie.
Brazile, taking the high road, this afternoon told Wolf Blitzer her parents taught her that was the word “that was used to dehumanize my father, my grandfathers, my mother my grandmothers. We were told to never use that word. And I don’t use it. And I don’t listen to music that often uses that word.
“But [Obama] was trying to make a point. And I’m glad that he made it,” she said, emotionally.
“But unfortunately it went right above some people and they focused on the [word],” she repeated, for emphasis.
Refreshingly speaking to Obama’s point, and current events, rather than fulminating over his use of a word, Brazile said she had three young nephews growing up in South Carolina, where, last week, nine black residents were murdered in a church by a Confederate-flag obsessed white supremacist. “I don’t want anything to happen to them…Those are young boys. And they want to be men… I want them to grow up in a country, unlike the country my parents grew up in, and my grandparents, and me,” Brazile said, choking up. “I want them to be free of all of this. And I will work for that,” she added, struggling to get out the words.
“I’m sure you will,” Blitzer added quietly, uncomfortably it seemed, though maybe he was just embarrassed for his network.
We reached out, but Loquacious Lemon declined to comment.