A strange thing happened on CNN on Saturday May 3 prior to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. CNN host Don Lemon, appearing alongside Professor Marc Lamont Hill, professed his admiration for the Nation of Islam, a well-known hate group.
Lemon proclaimed that Hill thinks he “look[s] like a member of the Nation of Islam. That’s okay. I like them. I live on 123rd Street. They’re always at 125th Street subway stop and I buy my Final Call.” [See video below.]
The Final Call is the official newspaper of the Nation of Islam, and Lemon cheered on their work: “I buy The Final Call...The Final Call today, the one that they were selling was about torture in America in American prisons. I buy it every time I see them.”
It seems odd that Lemon, who himself is openly gay, would endorse a group whose leader Louis Farrakhan has openly condemned gay marriage. Odds are that the Nation of Islam doesn’t share the same admiration for the CNN host. Despite this, Lemon seemed perfectly content supporting the Nation of Islam and even hyped their claims that U.S. prisoners were being tortured.
See relevant transcript below.
May 3, 2014
7:49 p.m. Eastern
DON LEMON: So Hadas listen. I don’t know if you can see the monitor. I did all of this without a mirror.
MARC LAMONT HILL: That’s impressive man.
LEMON: How did I do? How does it look?
HILL: Bean pie my brother. It’s not bad man.
LEMON: Did you...You did not get what he said.
HILL: For all the black people in the audience that was really funny.
LEMON: He was asking me...I have a Final Call for you. Where is it? And a bean pie. He’s saying that I look like a member of the Nation if Islam. That’s okay. I like them. I live on 123rd Street. They’re always at 125th Street subway stop and I buy my Final Call.
HILL: You buy The Final Call?
LEMON: I buy The Final Call.
HILL: News alert. Now that’s breaking news.
LEMON: The Final Call today, the one that they were selling was about torture in America in American prisons. I buy it every time I see them.
HILL: Wow and now you got your bow tie man.
LEMON: Don’t be trying to test my blackness.
HILL: That was a blackness test.
LEMON: Why are you shocked? What are you shocked for?
HILL: One, that you know what The Final Call was.
LEMON: Hold on Hadas.
HILL: Right, like a TV timer. That you knew what The Final Call was and that you’ve been on 125th street.
LEMON: Bow tie’s and The Final Call, get your dollar bill ya’ll. What do you think?
HILL: Black. Okay, you’re blacker than I thought.