They Can’t Stand You: Cuomo, Lemon Hurl Vitriol at Trump Supporters as Backing Racism

Showing how little respect and general goodwill they have for the humanity of Trump supporters, CNN hosts Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon hurled more venom between their respective shows on Tuesday toward those who weren’t on board with The Resistance because, if not, you’re at minimum endorsing bigotry and racism. A quick NewsBusters search of Lemon items would rate his claim as pants on fire.

Of course, at no point in their seven-minute-plus discussion did either mention the growing problem on the left with anti-Semitism and the opposition to Israel’s existence. Same goes for Christians who don’t subscribe to liberal, choose-your-own-adventure viewpoints.

 

 

Cuomo got things started with a “Closing Argument” commentary about the racist language of Iowa Republican Steve King, insisting that this was a time of choosing for those on the right. Lemon appeared at the 10:00 p.m. Eastern mark and began his own rant, agreeing with Cuomo’s point that “on what we ignore, we empower.”

Clearly looking to make himself the story, Lemon warned that what he was about to say was “controversial” and then he unwrapped his latest diatribe offering a deep disdain and intolerance towards those who supported the President because of his past statements (click “expand”):

I know this is going to be controversial, so I’m going to challenge all the supporters of this President. When you said to John Kasich, I know people who support Donald Trump, they're not bigots, but for people who look like me, other minorities, women who have — well, let's just leave this to race, this President has said and done so many insensitive and bigoted and racist things that if you support for him — if you support him, people like me want to understand why you ignored so much in order to support this man. You may not think you’re a racist. Maybe — I don't know if you are. I don't think, you know, every Trump supporter is a racist, but you certainly had to overlook racism and bigotry in order to make that decision. Now, then, maybe you made that decision in the voting booth and then, now, even after all of this, if you still, in your mind, can support this person, why the hell are you overlooking racism so much? It is personal and even deadly to people like me. That is important.

Fellow foot-soldier, Cuomo, replied that “this is a big” and “testing moment right now” for those who back Trump because “[i]t is very hard for people to look at what Steve King was saying” in addition to all of the President’s past statements on gender and race.

Lemon later laughed at the notion that Trump’s not a bigot or racist, suggesting that here’s “data that has been — actions that have been collected and memorialized and even on tape, over the years” and that Trump’s not speaking out about King “because the bigots and the racists support him” and “does not want to lose their support.”

With an assist from Cuomo, the CNN Tonight host doubled down on his disdain for Trump supporters as not-really-but-kind-of-are racists and not so smart (click “expand”):

LEMON: Again, Trump supporter who's overlooking some other bigoted, racist aspect of this President, for what? You think you're going to get some — a tax cut? How much? How much money is it worth to you that you have someone who is a racist in office? How much of a tax cut does it matter? There isn't that much money in the world for me and for people who are discriminated against, for people of color. It's not that much money.

CUOMO: I hear you, but first of all, you are aware and educated in a way that —

LEMON: Are you saying Trump supporters are not educated in a way? 

CUOMO: — some may not be. I'm saying that, look, there is no monolith, right? Some people are ignorant. Some people in this country, I don't care what their partisan stripe is, are ignorant. Some people don't want to see what’s right in front of their face. They want to believe it’s not true.

Later, Cuomo correctly noted that “if there is one value that must define this country, as imperfect as it may be executed, it's equality” and a “respect for our Constitution and our legal framework that makes us all equal in the eyes of the law.” 

But it’s laughable how Cuomo would speak in such terms considering how he’s insisted that Americans don’t receive our rights from God and has defended abortion, which is the murder of innocent humans in the womb.

In winding down the discussion to move forward with his own show, Lemon fretted that King won’t be a story “next week because people don't care unless they're involved” but instead care about money. He then quipped that if “people of color” came “back as dollar bills...they would care more about racism.”

Cuomo interjected in the midst of that point to demand that people “be made to care.” Sure, yes, people should care about racism and rejecting it, but forcing people to think one thing or the other isn’t exactly how free societies work, my dude.

To see the relevant transcript from January 15's CNN Tonight, click “expand.”

CNN Tonight
January 15, 2019
10:00 p.m. Eastern

DON LEMON: On what we ignore, we empower. You just said that, right?

CUOMO: Yes, sir.

LEMON: Okay. I agree with you and also, I know this is going to be controversial, so I’m going to challenge all the supporters of this President. When you said to John Kasich, I know people who support Donald Trump, they're not bigots, but for people who look like me, other minorities, women who have — well, let's just leave this to race, this President has said and done so many insensitive and bigoted and racist things that if you support for him — if you support him, people like me want to understand why you ignored so much in order to support this man. You may not think you’re a racist. Maybe — I don't know if you are. I don't think, you know, every Trump supporter is a racist, but you certainly had to overlook racism and bigotry in order to make that decision. Now, then, maybe you made that decision in the voting booth and then, now, even after all of this, if you still, in your mind, can support this person, why the hell are you overlooking racism so much? It is personal and even deadly to people like me. That is important.

CUOMO: I think this is a big moment for Trump supporters. It is very hard for people to look at what Steve King was saying. His plea of ignorance, whatever, you know, that's about him. If he's not smart enough to know that what he's saying is stupid, that's on him, but for those who support the President, this is a testing moment right now. He says he’s not a bigot. He says that he’s the least racist person you've ever met in your life.

LEMON: He's told me that. He's told me that like three or four times in interviews.

CUOMO: Great. We only know what you show. Now is the moment. This isn't something that you don't follow. First of all, that's B.S., okay. He follows everyone. He consumes media like this compulsively. So — and you know, and he pays attention to the shows. He knows. That's B.S. It's an excuse. He's ducking it.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Don't let him. If you support the President, you should want him to come out on this because it will give you the cover that you say that you want, which is, “I don't support a bigot. He's not a bigot.” Then where is he right now?

LEMON [LAUGHING]: Come on. Really? He's not a bigot. I've already said, of course he is. Look at the evidence. This is not just my opinion. This is evidence that data that has been — actions that have been collected and memorialized and even on tape, over the years. So where is — what's in question about this? So, I don't — listen, Steve King is one thing, the president's another. I know you say the president should be speaking out about this, he can't. He can't because the bigots and the racists support him. He does not want to lose their support. If he speaks out against Steve King, they're going to think he's not one of them again. So, what does that say about him, that he can't really, in a very strong and important way, condemn them, find people on both sides, that he can't do it. What does that say about him? Again, Trump supporter who's overlooking some other bigoted, racist aspect of this President, for what? You think you're going to get some — a tax cut? How much? How much money is it worth to you that you have someone who is a racist in office? How much of a tax cut does it matter? There isn't that much money in the world for me and for people who are discriminated against, for people of color. It's not that much money.

CUOMO: I hear you, but first of all, you are aware and educated in a way that —

LEMON: Are you saying Trump supporters are not educated in a way? 

CUOMO: — some may not be. I'm saying that, look, there is no monolith, right? Some people are ignorant. Some people in this country, I don't care what their partisan stripe is, are ignorant. Some people don't want to see what’s right in front of their face. They want to believe it’s not true. Other people will believe the President, when he says, “well, I'm not a racist” and I'm saying, no matter what you believe about the President —

LEMON: Yeah. “I'm not a racist, but I wouldn't want my daughter to bring home a black man. I'm not a homophobe, but I wouldn't want my son to be gay.” Really? Come on.

CUOMO: — who’s that? 

LEMON: That's — that’s what people say all the time. “I'm not a racist, but I don't think that blacks should be doing this. I'm not a homophobe, but I wouldn't want my daughter to be a lesbian.” That's being homophobic.

CUOMO: Absolutely.

LEMON: The other thing is being racist.

CUOMO: Absolutely.

LEMON: Even though you may put that little caveat before, little precursor. But that doesn't — that doesn't erase your racism or your homophobia just because you say that.

CUOMO: I don't — I don't disagree with any of that.

LEMON: Okay. So, the President saying I'm not a bigot doesn't mean it erases his bigotry.

CUOMO: Right. But that's why — that's why — that's why I'm embracing this moment because no matter what you think about yourself or the President everybody must agree that this is no time for somebody who is not a bigot to be quiet. This is no time to be that, especially if you are elected by this country to lead. Because if there is one value that must define this country, as imperfect as it may be executed, it's equality.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: It has to. That's all we are. It is all that knits us together.

LEMON: It's equality.

CUOMO: It's our respect for our Constitution and our legal framework that makes us all equal in the eyes of the law.

LEMON: That all men are created equal.

CUOMO: That's right.

LEMON: And it's also, we are our brother’s keeper. I may not be a woman, but I can empathize with the plight of women. I may not be Muslim, but I can empathize with the plight of Muslims, and on and on, but I don't see that trait and that empathy in other people, especially when it comes to race and that is extremely frustrating to black people in this country.

CUOMO: There is definitely a problem. There is a cultural problem. There is a generational problem. There are political aspects of it. It's all true. But, Don, that's another reason that this moment matters.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Because you have an easy one.

LEMON: Well, let's see if we're talking about it next week.

CUOMO: You have a lay-up here.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: You have a lay-up here. There are no facts that can confuse the picture. Steve King's best defense is, “I don't know why I say it.”

LEMON: “That wouldn’t come out.”

CUOMO: “I don't know why I say it. It's not in my head. I don't know why it comes out of my mouth.” You know, that's his best.

LEMON: That's a point -- and to put a period on it, Steve King says he's not racist. People who know him says he's not and then he says things like that. Really? Come on. Let's — we've got to wake up.

CUOMO: And that's why the moment matters so much and I can tell you —

LEMON: Chris, we will not be talking about this next week.

CUOMO: I know, but that's the problem.

LEMON: Because people don't care unless they're involved.

CUOMO: But they have to be made to care. Politics is persuasion.

LEMON: People care about money. That's it. If it's green, that's the only color, pretty much. I got to go.

CUOMO: Listen, things can be true.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: But cynicism does not make it any better.

LEMON: I'm just — I’m just being honest. 

CUOMO: This is a moment for the president to step up. Don't let him off the hook, D. Lemon.

LEMON: This is who we are. Maybe we should come back as dollar bills, I mean, people of color, and they would care more about racism.

CUOMO: I'd like to see you — your face on some currency, by the way.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Your head is perfectly shaped for a coin.

LEMON: I'm good-looking enough for a hundred-dollar bill. Thank you, Chris. I'll see you soon.


Please support NewsBusters today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW

NBDaily Double Standards Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Race Issues Racism CNN CNN Tonight Video Government & Press Steve King Don Lemon Chris Cuomo Donald Trump
Curtis Houck's picture