At CNN, it's not unusual to see one conservative or center-right guest in a panel discussion stacked with leftists, including the host. That's bad enough, but there has clearly been an increase in the number of times the lone conservative or center-right guest also ends up on the receiving end of rude, abusive treatment one would never see directed at other panelists.
Such was the case Thursday evening, when conservative talk radio host and CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson was shouted down and cut off by host Don Lemon.
In the full segment, the discussion on CNN Newsroom began with reaction to a previous segment with Christopher Ruddy. With Ruddy no longer on the set to defend himself, Bakari Sellers insulted the independent-minded Newsmax CEO by calling him "one of those Donald Trump sycophants that just comes on the air and says what Donald Trump wants him to say."
Sellers then harped on the four people associated with Trump who have been charged with crimes by Robert Mueller, none of which have an even remote relationship to the press's Trump-Russia collusion obsession, and compared that to the lack of criminal charges brought against anyone during the Obama administration's eight years. Sellers then characterized as "BS" any belief that there wasn't something criminal involved in Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with certain inconsequential Russians, though it really appears to have been an attempt at entrapment that didn't work.
The lack of criminal charges during the Obama administration proves nothing about whether crimes and impeachable offenses actually occurred. We've long known that Obama, with Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch as his attorneys general, had the Department of Justice in his back pocket. We've recently learned that even the FBI wasn't immune to being scandalously compromised.
Even before the 2016 presidential election campaign began, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy built a very strong case that crimes and impeachable offenses by and under Obama had occurred in his 2014 book, Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama's Impeachment. Here's the evaluation of McCarthy's case seen at Roger Simon's book review at PJ Media:
... (for Obama) the rule of law seems mythological and whose stewardship of our country in both domestic and foreign affairs has been an utter disaster. As McCarthy puts it succinctly, Obama has given us “a web of administration scandals that would make Richard Nixon and John Mitchell blush.”
The case McCarthy makes for Obama’s impeachment is as airtight as it gets.
In the final minute of the segment seen in the video below, Lemon finally gave Ferguson a chance to speak — "I've got to get Ben in," as if it was some kind of unwelcome chore. As would be expected, Ferguson felt the need to counter Sellers' no-crimes contention about the Obama presidency.
When he didn't like what Ferguson was saying as he emphasized the crimes of Hillary Clinton and some of those associated with her, Lemon first tried to stop him with this-is-irrelevant, this-is-old-news arguments. When Ferguson wouldn't stop talking, as time was running short, the CNN host repeatedly shouted "No!" and then abruptly went to a commercial:
Transcript (bolds are mine; though the two talked over each other, Ferguson's full statement and Lemon's shoutdown have been segregated for coherence):
DON LEMON, CNN: I’ve got to get Ben in. Go ahead, Ben.
BEN FERGUSON: Yeah, look, and I want to say this, because I think that this is, you know, what Bakari just said there, I think sums up the election a year ago perfectly.
There are a lot of people that feel like that there was special treatment that was given to people that worked for Barack Obama, and things that they did that they would have been indicted for if they were Republicans.
For example, when you clearly have top-secret information on a laptop that you have on a server in the basement of your house, and then you send those top-secret classified documents to people that aren’t even cleared to see them, and then you forward them to your husband, who by the way is in jail by the name of Anthony Weiner.
If that was a Republican — they would have been indicted.
(reacting to Lemon's interjection, which continued without interruption until the end of the segment) Let me finish. I hate when you — This is what you do every time. This is what you do every single time.
Let me finish. Let me finish my point.
No it's not. It's water under the bridge for you, Don. It's water under the bridge for you. It's not for the rest of the people in this country.
LEMON: What does that have to do with what we’re talking about? Ben, what are you talking about? The FBI already investigated that. There have been a million theories on it. It’s water under the bridge.
But why — No, no, no, no, no, no, no! No! No! We’ll be right back. We’ll be right back.
It's obvious that Lemon was determined to do anything and everything to keep Ben Ferguson from finishing his point. When pretending that his argument was irrelevant didn't work, he resorted to shouting Ferguson down like a 3 year-old. When Ferguson kept talking through the shoutdown, Lemon shut him down by going to a break.
This isn't the Cable News Network. It's the Censorship News Network.
Lemon has a habit of rudely treating Ferguson and other conservative guests.
In October, in a discussion on former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's National Anthem antics, Lemon (beginning at the 5:25 mark) repeatedly called Ferguson's position on proper conduct during the Anthem "bullish*t."
In February, Lemon abruptly ended his program — not just the segment, the whole program — when Paris Dennard called the rest of the panel's whining about the costs of security for President Trump and the First Family "fake news."
We don't know exactly why Dennard used this characterization, though it's reasonable to believe that it's because the amounts involved in First Family protection are immaterial when compared to the $9.3 trillion the Obama administration added to the national debt during its eight years. The reason we don't know what Dennard was thinking is that, after a pathetic lecture from Lemon about the proper and improper use of the term "fake news," Dennard wouldn't budge from insisting that the panel's First Family security cost fixation was "fake news."
As seen in the final 13 seconds of the video which follows, before Dennard could explain why, Lemon ended the segment, from all appearances early, and began to walk off the set before the camera cut away, simply because Dennard wouldn't budge from his obviously strong belief:
People on the receiving end of this kind of rude and sometimes even profane treatment — especially repeatedly, as Ferguson indicated with his hard to hear "This is what you do every time" observation — need to take to Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, and call it out. They need to demand apologies, and follow through on threats not to return unless and until those apologies arrive.
This is especially true with CNN, which is in a clearly weak position, with its audience shrinking and its credibility evaporating. Becoming the far-left's echo chamber where a range of thought is not allowed will only marginalize it further. That will happen more quickly if conservative and center-right guests refuse to appear without ironclad guarantees of fair treatment.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.