Lemon: Conservative Larry Elder Isn't 'Smart' or 'With It'

As Dennis Prager appeared on Thursday's CNN Tonight for a segment about how the conservative media are handling President Donald Trump and the Russia investigation, the conservative talk radio host received a substantial amount of pushback from host Don Lemon and right-leaning anti-Trump CNN commentator Tara Setmayer as Prager recalled the dominant liberal media's attempts to blame a spate of ant-Semitic acts on Trump's election.

Host Lemon not only dismissed black conservative talk radio host Larry Elder as someone who is perhaps not "smart" and who has been "co-opted," the CNN host also wrongly tried to correct Prager's accurate recollection that the overwhelming majority of bomb threats against Jewish centers had been proven to have nothing to do with Trump supporters.

Additionally, Setmayer reacted with hostility to Prager as she accused him of uttering "falsehoods" and suggested that he should not be allowed on the show. to give his views.

Near the beginning of the segment, Prager complained that it was a "pure lie" pushed by the left that Trump's election had "unleashed" anti-Semitism and racism. As Lemon injected, "That's not true," Setmayer also jumped in and talked over Prager as the two went back and forth:

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, it wasn't. I'm sorry, but speaking as someone who was -- wait a minute,

PRAGER: Let me finish. Okay.

SETMAYER: I cannot let you get away with that 

PRAGER: No, no, no, you can't let me say what I want to say.

SETMAYER: As someone who was on the receiving end of those horrible insults, I can tell you that it was not a lie. And I'm a conservative, a life-long Republican, and so -- just so you know.

PRAGER: All right, this is not a university. You have to let people speak. We're not at a university.

SETMAYER: I'm not going to let you speak falsehoods -- as someone who lived it -- but go ahead 

After Prager recalled that about 150 of the bomb threats against Jewish centers came from a Jewish teen with a mental disorder, while about a dozen others came from a far-left journalist who was acting as a copycat, Lemon jumped in and dismissed Prager's recollection as "just two instances" as the two went back and forth:

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LEMON: You're talking about two instances.

PRAGER: Sorry?

LEMON: You're talking about two instances.

PRAGER: No, not two. Hundreds. Don, not two. All the hundreds.

LEMON: You're talking about two instances, and that is -- I have to say that you're not right about that.

PRAGER: Tell me where it's wrong.

Setmayer soon complained because Prager was allowed on the show:

SETMAYER: I know on the racism side of it, I've received that, too. So, I mean, I'm sorry, Don, but, you know what, this conversation when you bring people like this on, they're not helping the cause. They're deflecting.

PRAGER: Right. You shouldn't bring me on, Don, because I don't agree with her.

SETMAYER: You're trying to diminish what's going on here, and you're not facing the reality of what actually happened during the Trump -- during Trump's election.

A bit later, Lemon tried to challenge Prager's numbers again on the threats against Jewish centers:

LEMON: The man you referenced made half a dozen threats out of hundreds, Dennis.

PRAGER: No, no, no.

LEMON: Yes, yes, yes.

PRAGER: The Jewish kid in Israel made about 150 of them. That's not true.

LEMON: You're talking about a Jewish kid in Israel? Okay.

PRAGER: Yes. He did about 150 Jewish community centers.

After Lemon complained about conservatives painting the dominant media as liberal, Prager brought up Larry Elder's views on how the media have covered Trump. 

But I think the ratio -- somebody -- Larry Elder, a colleague of mine who happens to be black -- I think it's only relevant because we're talking about racism here -- and doesn't think Trump has unleashed racism -- did a CNN analysis and it seems that it was overwhelming --

Lemon then tried to belittle Elder:

LEMON: Just because he's black, it doesn't mean that he is aware, and it doesn't mean that he is smart and with it.

PRAGER: Oh, he's very aware. He's one of the brightest guys I know, whatever his color.

LEMON: And it also doesn't mean that he is not co-opted by certain things, and that he doesn't reap the benefits of having a certain platform.

SETMAYER: This is such a cop out by conservatives who are in the tank for Trump. It's disingenuous.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Thursday, May 18, CNN Tonight:

11:31 p.m. ET
DENNIS PRAGER, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST: I see this as simply another of the series of hysterias that the Left has created. I don't know, Don, how much you covered it, but I recall you did cover it -- I just don't know how much -- and that is the, for example, the massive amount of anti-Semitism and racism that the Trump election unleashed. That was all a lie -- pure lie -- 100 percent lie.

DON LEMON: That is not true, Dennis. That's not true.

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, it wasn't. I'm sorry, but speaking as someone who was -- wait a minute,

PRAGER: Let me finish. Okay.

SETMAYER: I cannot let you get away with that 

PRAGER: No, no, no, you can't let me say what I want to say.

SETMAYER: As someone who was on the receiving end of those horrible insults, I can tell you that it was not a lie. And I'm a conservative, a life-long Republican, and so -- just so you know.

PRAGER: All right, this is not a university. You have to let people speak. We're not at a university.

SETMAYER: I'm not going to let you speak falsehoods -- as someone who lived it -- but go ahead 

PRAGER: Excuse me -- all right, fine.

(...)

11:32 p.m. ET
LEMON: You're talking about two instances.

PRAGER: Sorry?

LEMON: You're talking about two instances.

PRAGER: No, not two. Hundreds. Don, not two. All the hundreds.

LEMON: You're talking about two instances, and that is -- I have to say that you're not right about that.

PRAGER: Tell me where it's wrong.

SETMAYER: Ask Ben Shapiro -- as Ben Shapiro and the other Jewish conservatives that got savagely attacked on social media during this whole thing.

PRAGER: Oh, on social media, please. Everybody gets savagely attacked on social media.

SETMAYER: Not like that, not like that.

PRAGER: This was not unleashed by Donald Trump.

SETMAYER: Jonah Goldberg -- you can ask all of them what they've gone through.

PRAGER: Yes, yes, I know Jonah Goldberg. He played a video for me.

SETMAYER: I know on the racism side of it, I've received that, too. So, I mean, I'm sorry, Don, but, you know what, this conversation when you bring people like this on, they're not helping the cause. They're deflecting.

PRAGER: Right. You shouldn't bring me on, Don, because I don't agree with her.

SETMAYER: You're trying to diminish what's going on here, and you're not facing the reality of what actually happened during the Trump -- during Trump's election.

(...)

11:34 p.m. ET
PRAGER: I'm only telling you on a national level. I gave you one huge example of the anti-Semitism. I'm a Jew, I've written a major book on anti-Semitism --

LEMON: The man you referenced made half a dozen threats out of hundreds, Dennis.

PRAGER: No, no, no.

LEMON: Yes, yes, yes.

PRAGER: The Jewish kid in Israel made about 150 of them. That's not true.

LEMON: You're talking about a Jewish kid in Israel? Okay.

PRAGER: Yes. He did about 150 Jewish community centers.

(...)

11:35 p.m. ET
PRAGER: But I think the ratio -- somebody -- Larry Elder, a colleague of mine who happens to be black -- I think it's only relevant because we're talking about racism here -- and doesn't think Trump has unleashed racism -- did a CNN analysis and it seems that it was overwhelming --

LEMON: Just because he's black, it doesn't mean that he is aware, and it doesn't mean that he is smart and with it.

PRAGER: Oh, he's very aware. He's one of the brightest guys I know, whatever his color.

LEMON: And it also doesn't mean that he is not coopted by certain things, and that he doesn't reap the benefits of having a certain platform.

SETMAYER: This is such a cop out by conservatives who are in the tank for Trump. It's disingenuous. 

Brad Wilmouth
Brad Wilmouth is a contributing blogger to NewsBusters