Don Lemon will be starting his totally-not-a-demotion stint on CNN’s revamped morning show CNN This Morning this morning. So we at NewsBusters thought it would be nice to take a stroll down memory lane and look back at Lemon’s heinous remarks that the network would prefer were memory-holed.
One of Lemon’s earliest remarks that got people talking and questioning his intelligence was his speculation on the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and if it was swallowed by a black hole. “I know it’s preposterous, but is it preposterous?”
With that take more or less setting the foundation, it’s no surprise that Lemon was an integral part of CNN’s plunge into the toilet, making up 33 of their 195 mentions of “s***hole” on January 12, 2018.
Lemon also took it upon himself to be the arbiter of race relations in America, proving himself to be one of the biggest racists on TV. He once declared that “the biggest terror threat in this country is white men” and suggested they be banned. He also argued that the Black Lives Matter riots of 2020 were just like Boston Tea Party and that Trump voters were akin to the Klan and Nazis.
And with his insistence that Republicans are “very dangerous to our society, and we have to acknowledge that,” he’s unlikely to change with a little morning coffee.
NewsBusters Media Editor Bill D’Agostino put together this brief montage of Lemon’s primetime blathering.
The following are just a few of Lemon’s most obnoxious and ridiculous outbursts over the years:
Beyond-Embarrassing Coverage of Missing Jet
“Whether it was hijacking or terrorism or mechanical failure or pilot error, but what if it was something fully that we don’t really understand? A lot of people have been asking about that, about black holes and on and on and on and all of these conspiracy theories. Let’s look at this....I know it’s preposterous, but is it preposterous?”
— Anchor Don Lemon wrapping up a 10pm ET CNN special report on the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappearance on March 19, 2014 as the on-screen headline blared: “The Theory of Black Holes.”
Bringing Up Bill’s Bad Behavior Is “Low Blow” to Hillary
Townhall.com columnist Kurt Schlicter: “I would like to bring Hillary Clinton’s actions into it. When she was given the choice between standing with a serial sexual abuser and with women who are being violated —”
Host Don Lemon: “Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. That’s not fair.”
Schlicter: “— by a serious sexual harasser. That is fair.”
Lemon: “It is not fair. It is not fair. It is a low blow. I want to end this. This is the lowest of the low and it has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. It is just a cheap shot. Can you please stop? Cut him off please. Thank you. We’re done. Thank you. We’ll be right back.”
— Exchange on CNN Newsroom, December 22, 2015.
No Way Trump Is Smart Enough To Know Those Big Words
“The way President Trump speaks extemporaneously, is not the same as what he said tonight. It sounded, to me, and this is just — I mean, I thought it was — he sounded very presidential. This was a speech written by a college student for someone else trying to use big words to impress that the person who is reciting it did not know the meaning of the words. That's how it sounded.”
— Host Don Lemon discussing Trump’s address to Congress on CNN Tonight, March 1, 2017.
What Do Blacks Have to Lose Under Trump? A Lot.
“What do African-Americans have to lose? The President’s proposed budget slashes funding, let’s see, for federal agencies that assist poor and urban areas, including many African-Americans, Department of Housing and Urban Development down 13.2 percent, the Department of Education down 13.5 percent, Department of Health and Human Services down 16.2 percent. So it seems that some African-Americans are losing a lot.”
— Host Don Lemon on CNN Tonight, March 16, 2017.
GOP “Enablers” Are “Complicit” in Racism
“I can’t believe people get up here on CNN and other networks and actually try to defend, especially African Americans and Jewish people, to try to defend what Donald Trump said yesterday. This there is no defense for what he said. What he said yesterday was disgusting. It was un-American. And anyone who is American and believes in this country should be speaking out against this person and saying that it is wrong for him to do this. And anyone who — let me be plainly clear — anyone who is in that White House and who is supporting him is complicit in their racism as well....When do Republicans stand up and say enough is enough.”
— Host Don Lemon on CNN New Day, August 16, 2018.
Trump’s “Cruel” DACA Decision = “White Supremacy Agenda”
“This is one of the most cruel acts we’ve seen in the presidency in a long time....I’m afraid since Charlottesville and the talk about the white supremacists and putting them on the same level as protesters....[The pardon of Sheriff Joe] Arpaio and now this....Increasingly there is a sign out there that’s been hung up in the White House or outside the White House saying, if you’re not white, you’re not especially welcome.”
— CNN’s Senior Political Analyst David Gergen on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, September 5, 2017.
Time for a Ban on White Men
“The biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban on – you know, they had the Muslim ban. There is no white guy ban. So what do we do about that?”
— Host Don Lemon on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time, October 29, 2018.
Lemon Defends Antifa
“It says it right in the name, Antifa, Anti-Fascism, which is what they’re fighting. Listen. There is, you know, no organization is perfect. There is some violence. No one condones the violence. But there are different reasons for Antifa and for these neo-Nazis to be there. One, racists, fascists, the other group fighting racists, fascists, there is fascists. There is a distinction there.”
— Host Don Lemon talking about Antifa on CNN Tonight, August 28, 2018.
Trump “Traffics In Racism”
“This President traffics in racism and is fueled by bullying. From keeping children at the border in cages to bullying journalists at everyone in his rallies and every chance he gets. President Trump is trying a divide and conquer strategy here and here’s how it goes. He divides by race and tries to conquer decency by smearing and besmirching the truth and the people who fight to uphold it....I wonder if he will succeed.....He is the one who has his finger on the pulse of this country. Is he revealing who we really are?”
— Host Don Lemon responding to Trump’s tweet calling him the “dumbest man on television” as aired on CNN Tonight, August 6, 2018.
Praise for Pelosi’s Performance
“I was like, ‘oh, my gosh, Nancy Pelosi is a boss!’ I mean she handled herself amazingly....I’m sure Democrats are going all across the country tonight, ‘thank God for Nancy Pelosi!’”
— Host Don Lemon in discussion about Donald Trump-Chuck Schumer-Nancy Pelosi meeting as aired on CNN Tonight, December 11, 2018.
Comparing Trump to Hitler
“But think about the despicable people we’ve had in history. OK? Now I’m going to use an extreme example. Think about Hitler. Think about any of those people. Would you say that that person is allowed – or let’s put it this way? If you could look back on in history would you say well, I’m so glad that that person was allowed a platform so that they could spread their hate and propaganda and lies? Or would you say it probably wasn’t the right thing to do to spread that because you knew in the moment that that was a bad person. And they were doing bad things. Not only were they hurting people. They were killing people.”
— Host Don Lemon on CNN Tonight, June 18, 2019.
Lemon Accuses Trump of Having Obama Envy
“What is it about President Obama that really gets under your [Donald Trump] skin? Is it because he’s smarter than you? Better educated? Made it on his own, didn’t need daddy's help, wife is more accomplished, better looking. I don’t know, what is it? What is it about him? That he’s a black man that’s accomplished, became president. That he punked you on the whole birth certificate thing. What is it about him? Just wondering.”
— Host Don Lemon on CNN Tonight, May 3.
Stopping the Looting = “Declaring War on Americans”
“Open your eyes, America. Open your eyes. We are teetering on a dictatorship. This is chaos. Has the President — I’m listening — is the President declaring war on Americans? What is happening here?”
— Host Don Lemon discussing Trump bringing in the military to stop looters, as aired on CNN’s Situation Room, June 1, 2020.
Looting and Rioting Just Like The Boston Tea Party
“Let’s not forget, if anyone judging this, I’m not judging this. I’m just wondering what is going on because we were supposed to figure out this experiment a long time ago. Our country was started because — this is how — the Boston Tea Party. Rioting. So do not get it twisted and think this is something that has never happened before and this is so terrible and these savages and all of that. This is how this country was started.”
— Host Don Lemon describing scenes of looting on CNN Tonight, May 30, 2020.
If You Voted For Trump, You Are On The Same Side as the Klan
“If you voted for Trump, you voted for the person who the Klan supported. You voted for the person who Nazis support. You voted for the person who the alt-right supports. That’s the crowd that you are in.”
— Host Don Lemon on CNN: The 2nd Trump Impeachment Vote, January 14, 2021.
Republicans Were Always “Horrible,” Even When Reagan Was Around
“Reagan was not perfect. Reagan was horrible….They hold him up as a gold standard. When you look at what he actually accomplished….He was horrible when it came to racial issues, he was horrible when it came to the AIDS crisis. He was horrible when it came to uniting the country. He didn’t unite the country; he was a divider! And so they hold him up as a gold standard….I think the Republican Party has been moving in this direction forever. Again, they are the party of everything that they’re trying to pretend that they’re not. Now saying ‘The people in the Capitol, that’s not us.’ Yes, it is you! ‘The people who were in Charlottesville, that’s not us.’ Yes, it is you!”
— Host Don Lemon on CNN Tonight, February 11, 2021.
“I’m Not Partisan” But Dems Must Save America From Insane, Obsolete GOP
“I’m not a partisan person….But right now our Democracy is in danger and that’s because of one party, and that’s the Republican party…The Democrats are….the party of morality. I don’t think the Republican party is….What they are operating on now is white grievance, white fear. Trump capitalized on that. The country is changing, and they are afraid of it....The only party now that is operating in reality is the Democratic Party. The Republican Party is obsolete. The Republican Party is not dealing and living in reality. So you cannot negotiate with a party that doesn’t operate on logic.”
— Host Don Lemon on CNN New Day, May 21, 2021.
“Dangerous” Republicans Don’t Deserve a Fair Shot
“We want to give this false equivalence to Democrats and Republicans. That is not where we are right now. Republicans are doing something that is very dangerous to our society, and we have to acknowledge that. We have to acknowledge that as Americans. We must acknowledge that as journalists, because if we don’t we’re not doing our jobs. We cannot sit here and pretend like, ‘Well, Republicans….cut them a break.’...They have a lot to answer for in this moment….They have taken back a right [abortion] that was….granted to American women for 50 years. They have to answer for those questions if they come here on CNN they must answer for that. If they go on MSNBC they must answer for that. If they go on ABC they must answer for that. And they cannot expect to be coddled when they go on to a news organization.”
— Host Don Lemon on CNN’s New Day, July 14, 2022.