During Tuesday’s edition of CNN Tonight, host Don Lemon echoed the left-wing talking point that President Trump somehow bears responsibility for Roseanne Barr’s tweet about former Obama official Valerie Jarrett: “We have to stop pretending that this President has nothing to do with it, that he’s not emboldening racists and racism and giving them a platform and making it okay.”
ABC abruptly cancelled the popular revival of Roseanne Barr’s eponymous sitcom following a now-deleted tweet the 65-year-old comedian sent out earlier this week comparing Former Adviser to President Obama Valerie Jarrett to an ape. Barr, the former presidential nominee for the left-wing Peace and Freedom Party, has established herself as one of Hollywood’s rare Trump supporters and apologized for the tweet. She asked her supporters not to defend her heinous comment.
It did not take long for Lemon to point out that President Trump had previously praised Barr and her show’s reboot which portrayed the Trump-supporting title character in a positive light, in contrast to most other Hollywood shows that focusing on Trump-bashing 24/7. He played footage of President Trump touting the show’s high ratings and pointing out that “the fake news still hasn’t figured it out yet.”
Lemon then jumped in: “Well, I think we’ve all figured it out. We’ve all figured it out. Nobody should be fooled by the White House refusal tonight to comment on Roseanne because we already know exactly what President Trump thinks.”
Moments later, the CNN pundit played a clip of President Trump calling for a shutdown of Muslim immigration to the United States immediately followed by a clip of his response to the Charlottesville riots organized by white supremacists where he said there “were very fine people, on both sides.”
Lemon added to the already-excessive tally of CNN’s unedited use of the word “sh**hole” on air, by bringing up a statement President Trump allegedly made while holding a closed door meeting on immigration reform referring to impoverished countries as “sh**holes.”
We know what Donald Trump thinks. We know what Roseanne Barr thinks. It’s time for us to stop playing around with soft words by saying, oh, well, they’re saying insensitive things. No, it’s racist. They’re exhibiting racist behavior. And far too many of our fellow American citizens agree with them and feel emboldened to say out loud the things that they wouldn’t have dared to say in public just a few years ago.
Lemon concluded his monologue by saying “We have to stop pretending that this President has nothing to do with it, that he’s not emboldening racists and racism and giving them a platform and making it okay,” or else “we’re going to destroy the moral fabric of this country.”
Lemon hardly found himself the only member of the media linking President Trump to Roseanne. Altogether, the three “alphabet soup” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC either mentioned Roseanne’s political affiliation or tied her to President Trump a total of 31 times.
To see the relevant transcript, click "expand."
CNN Tonight With Don Lemon
DON LEMON: This is CNN Tonight. I’m Don Lemon. Today, ABC stepped up, did the right thing. Cancelling the hit reboot of “Roseanne” after the star of the show Roseanne Barr tweeted something so abhorrent. I wish I didn’t have to repeat it but the words she used and the racist hate behind them matters. Roseanne tweeted “Muslim brotherhood and planet of the apes had a baby, equals V.J.” referring to Valerie Jarrett who was a senior adviser to President Barack Obama. Roseanne later offered a weak, very weak apology if you want to call it that, in which she called a bad joke and in poor taste. So let’s be clear here, this was not a joke, it had nothing to do with bad taste, this was straight up racism. She was not misunderstood, she was not misquoted. She wrote the words herself. And now, Roseanne Barr is paying the price for her racist hate speech. And she should. This is not silencing a conservative voice, this is not denying Roseanne her right to free speech. Nobody stopped her from saying exactly what she wanted to say. But despite the crude racism on display here, Valerie Jarrett took the high road tonight. Listen to what she said on MSNBC.
VALERIE JARRETT: I’m fine. I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense. The person who’s walking down the street minding their own business and they see somebody cling to their purse or walk across the street. Or every black parent I know who has a boy who has to sit down and have a conversation, the talk, as we call it. And as you said, those ordinary examples of racism that happen every single day.
LEMON: Every single day. Valerie Jarrett is absolutely right. This is much, much bigger than Roseanne’s dumb racist tweets. This is about the normalization of racism across this country. This is about people who now feel free to say exactly the kind of thing Roseanne said. We’ve all known for a long time just how Roseanne feels. Back in 2013, she compared former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Adviser Susan Rice to an ape in a tweet she later deleted. In 2009, for a photo shoot, she dressed up as Hitler and baked what she called, little Jew cookies, claiming she was making fun of Hitler and not his victims. And let’s not forget her take on the National Anthem. This was 28 years ago.
[ROSEANNE BARR SINGS THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER]
LEMON: And they have nerve to criticize NFL players for peacefully taking a knee, respectfully. We all knew what we were getting and what Roseanne was like. ABC knew what they were getting, and yet they gave her a reboot of her show knowing full well who she is. And today, she showed us exactly who she is again. And now she’s facing the consequences. And what about the hundreds of people who worked on her show? Who didn’t do anything wrong? They’re out of work tonight. But there’s someone else who never seems to face any consequences, someone who has praised Roseanne and her show.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Look at Roseanne, I called her yesterday. Look at her ratings, look at her ratings. They were unbelievable, over 18 million people. And it was about us. They haven’t figured it out. The fake news hasn’t quite figured it out yet.
LEMON: Well, I think we’ve all figured it out. We’ve all figured it out. Nobody should be fooled by the White House refusal tonight to comment on Roseanne because we already know exactly what President Trump thinks. He began his political career with the racist lie that Barack Obama, the Former
President was not born in this country; a lie he reportedly still clings to. On the day he announced his campaign, he said this.
TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best, they’re sending people that have lots of problems. And they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists.
LEMON: He made a Muslim ban, ban the centerpiece of his campaign.
TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
LEMON: He responded to deadly white supremacist violence in Charlottesville by claiming, there were, his words, “very fine people on both sides.”
TRUMP: You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group…excuse me, excuse me, I saw the same pictures as you did.
LEMON: He called African countries, sending immigrants to this country “shithole countries.” The White House later trying to claim the President said “shit house,” as if that, as if that makes any difference. I could go on but we only have so much time in this show and we really want to discuss this. We know what Donald Trump thinks. We know what Roseanne Barr thinks. It’s time for us to stop playing around with soft words by saying, oh, well, they’re saying insensitive things. No, it’s racist. They’re exhibiting racist behavior. And far too many of our fellow American citizens agree with them and feel emboldened to say out loud the things that they wouldn’t have dared to say in public just a few years ago. In an America where racism happens every day, in our neighborhoods, in our workplaces, in our schools, in a Starbucks, in a park, at an Airbnb, what is America going to do about it? What are we going to do about it? When are we going to stop pretending that every incident…oh, this is just one incident, oh, it’s just one, there’s just one, this is just one example. There keeps being one example after another after another after another after another after another. And we have to stop pretending that this President has nothing to do with it, that he’s not emboldening racists and racism and giving them a platform and making it okay. We have to stop pretending that or we’re going to destroy the moral fabric of this country.