On Tuesday's CNN Tonight, Perez Hilton compared former Vice President Dick Cheney to the extremist group masquerading as a place of worship, Westboro Baptist Church. Host Don Lemon interrupted a fight between conservative Ben Ferguson and liberal Marc Lamont Hill over Dick Cheney's "race card" comments about President Obama, and turned to the celebrity gossip blogger for his take on the issue. Hilton replied, "To me, Dick Cheney is like the Westboro Baptist Church. I'd rather not talk about him. Can we move on? Is he really worthy of our time?" [video below]
Lemon got a kick out of his guest's remarks and responded, "Oh, Perez! Speaking truth to power! All right. You know, he's absolutely right. So let's move on." What was the CNN anchor agreeing with – the Westboro comparison, moving on, or both?
Moments before Hilton likened the former vice president to the professional funeral picketers, Hill contended that much of the criticism of President Obama was racially-motivated:
DON LEMON: So Ben [Ferguson], let's talk about this – I wanted to get this in the last segment, but let's talk about it now – April issue, Playboy magazine – Dick Cheney says Eric Holder and President Obama are – quote, 'playing the race card,' by suggesting that attacks against them may have to with their ethnicity. He says, 'The criticism is merited because of performance – or lack of performance – because of incompetence. It has got anything – it hasn't got anything to do with race.' You agree with the vice president?
BEN FERGUSON, HOST, THE BEN FERGUSON SHOW: I do, especially when it comes to people in Washington. I think that Jimmy Carter got ripped on. George Bush got ripped on. Democrats put out bumper stickers that said, 'F the President,' for goodness's sake. And that's called politics. When you are in those positions, you're going to be criticized every single day by someone....And just because you get criticized doesn't mean it's because of the color of your skin-
MARC LAMONT HILL: But that's not – but that's not the argument....The argument wasn't that just because they got criticized, it was about race; or that every time they got criticized, it was about race.
I mean, race – I just find it mind-boggling...that you can say it's never about race with Obama – that every single white person that has ever criticized Obama, it's never been about race.
Look, there are plenty of reasons to criticize President Obama. I've criticized President Obama a lot more than you'd like to admit. But the truth is, there are times where race is a factor, and when you look at some of the unprecedented levels of disrespect that this president has faced, oftentimes, you can link it to race. And it's not just-
FERGUSON: Hold on – 'unprecedented' compared to – to other presidents that have had-
HILL: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Compared to other presidents-