CNN's Bell: Snoop Dogg Shooting Trump Not as Bad as 'You Lie' Against Obama

Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's CNN Tonight, comedian and CNN host W. Kamau Bell declared that he was "more offended" by Republican Rep. Joe Wilson shouting, "You lie!" at President Barack Obama than he was at the depiction of President Donald Trump being shot at, during a discussion of Snoop Dogg's controversial rap video. Host Don Lemon oddly proclaimed that he was not bothered by the video "except for the gun part where he shoots," even though that scene is the primary reason people are criticizing it.

After Lemon first brought up the video at 11:53 p.m. ET, Bell declared that it was "pretty harsh" for people to call it a "mock execution," and dismissed it as "satire." Lemon then made his first of two odd declarations that he only had a problem with the part with Snoop Dogg shooting at Trump. Lemon: "I had no problem with it except for the gun part where he shoots, I mean, because people, because that's, we've had people-"

Bell jumped in and admitted that it was meant to be "provocative" and claimed that he was "not trying to defend it" before he then cheerfully joked about how people will keep watching the video because the song is so good. Bell: "Clearly he was trying to be provocative. I get that, and I'm not trying to defend that. I'm just saying that, like, he clearly meant to be provocative, but I think that, again, the biggest problem that Trump has with that song is it's a good song and people are going to be listening to that song and watch that video a lot. I was like, 'Oh, that's the biggest problem. This song's good.'"

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After Lemon read a statement from video director Jesse Wellens claiming that he was not trying to "condone violence," Bell again dismissed it as "satire" in which the Trump character ends up smoking weed with Snoop Dogg and that "it's not actually an execution of the President."

After Lemon read a tweet from President Trump calling out the double standard of how such a video would be viewed if President Obama had been the target, Bell then made his claim that Obama had suffered worse:

Obama dealt with things like this all the time. What's more offensive? Donald Trump character in this video or Joe Wilson standing on the floor of the Senate during the State of the Union saying "you lie" to Obama. I feel like that's more offensive to me. So Obama dealt with this stuff all the time.

Lemon then oddly claimed that there was "hypocrisy" in Trump criticizing Snoop Dogg in this case after having ignored the rapper roasting him on Comedy Central in the past -- even though there was presumably no depiction of Trump being shot at in the Comedy Central appearance. Lemon:

I think there was also a little hypocrisy on the President's part just for -- because I watched the Comedy Central roast of Donald Trump recently, and it was kind of, it was a little weird to watch it. Snoop Dogg is one of the roasters and said much nastier things about then-private citizen Trump than he said about President Trump in that video. Again, the gun thing bothered me, but the other stuff didn't.

Last week, the same two CNN personalities similarly did not see a double standard in liberals attacking conservative HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson for calling African slaves "immigrants," even though President Barack Obama had a history of similarly counting slaves as "immigrants."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, March 15, CNN Tonight:

11:53 p.m. ET

DON LEMON: Can we talk about this video -- I've been wanting to talk to you about it -- from Snoop Dogg. It's creating quite a controversy due to its depiction of a mock execution of a clown called Donald Clump -- Ronald Clump, excuse me, Ronald Clump dressed as President Trump. Do you have an issue with this video?

W. KAMAU BELL: I mean, I think calling it a "mock execution" is pretty harsh. The whole thing is a sort of satire of clowns and turns the whole world into a sort of clown culture. It's, you know, it is provocative. Snoop Dogg certainly is trying to be provocative, but, you know, I think the bigger issue is that Snoop is a dude that's normally not thought of as political, he just wants to smoke weed and like coach his kid's football teams. But the fact is, is that Trump has created so much news and so much controversy that it's brought Snoop into politics, which if Hip Hop comes fully into politics like that, it's a big deal.

LEMON: I had no problem with it except for the gun part where he shoots, I mean, because people, because that's, we've had people-

BELL: That's, I mean, clearly he was trying to be provocative. I get that, and I'm not trying to defend that. I'm just saying that, like, he clearly meant to be provocative, but I think that, again, the biggest problem that Trump has with that song is it's a good song and people are going to be listening to that song and watch that video a lot.

LEMON: Yeah, yeah.

BELL: I was like, "Oh, that's the biggest problem. This song's good."

LEMON: I just, having been, you know, concerned about Presidents being assassinated, but the other part being provocative, someone imitating the President, whatever, that's all fine, it's all comedy. But here's -- this is the director of the video, Jesse Wellens released a statement. It says in part: "I've learned that in-your-face art can stimulate debate. This video is audacious/gutsy/provoking, but in no way do we condone violence and brutality. Our desire is that this video inspires people to continue to question, demand answers and hold our leaders accountable to the highest standards."

LEMON: Do you think that's fair in his defense? Because, you know, the gun wasn't a gun. It didn't shoot. It said "bang" at the end.

BELL: I mean, I think what's happening is a lot of people are reading the headline about the video or watching a few seconds of the video, but if you watch the whole video, it's clearly all a satire, and there's guns in other parts of the video, and nobody's getting killed in the video. I mean, you know Snoop Dogg does come out of like the Gangsta Rap era, but this is not a Gangsta Rap video, and I think that people are like, I agree with the director, it's meant to be provocative, but the end of the video is the Donald -- is the Ronald Clump character smoking weed with Snoop. So it's not actually an execution of the President.

LEMON: The President tweeted. He said: "Can you imagine what the outcry would have been if Snoop Dogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired a gun at President Obama? Jail time!"

BELL: For all we know, Snoop Dogg is worth as much or more than Donald Trump, first of all. Let's just say that. So, and second of all, Obama dealt with things like this all the time. What's more offensive? Donald Trump character in this video or Joe Wilson standing on the floor of the Senate during the State of the Union saying "you lie" to Obama. I feel like that's more offensive to me. So Obama dealt with this stuff all the time.

LEMON: I think there was also a little hypocrisy on the President's part just for -- because I watched the Comedy Central roast of Donald Trump recently, and it was kind of, it was a little weird to watch it. Snoop Dogg is one of the roasters and said much nastier things about then-private citizen Trump than he said about President Trump in that video. Again, the gun thing bothered me, but the other stuff didn't.

NB Daily Congress Guns Double Standards Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN CNN Tonight Video Don Lemon W. Kamau Bell Barack Obama Joe Wilson Donald Trump


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