I didn't think it was possible for someone to be more despicable than Hannity, more craven than O'Reilly, more hateful than Coulter. I was wrong. Don Lemon has them all beat. By a country mile.
Watching Don Lemon, Areva Martin, and the rest of the panel "question" Shaun's life, I knew something was wrong. Like the scumbags at Breitbart, Don Lemon has mastered the art of saying the most outlandish things but phrasing them as questions so he can later bat his lashes and act indignant if anyone dared to accuse him of being stupid or worse, cruel. "I didn't say the plane flew into a black hole, I just asked if it was preposterous to wonder." Now he can add, "I never actually called Shaun King a lying sack of shit. I just asked if it was possible that he had conned Oprah out of money to pay for his college."
Well, nobody is fooled by this. There's a reason the Columbia Journalism Review in a rare (maybe even unprecedented) move awarded their DART award to Don Lemon as an individual in recognition of the fact that he was one of the worst journalists in America in 2014. Looks like this year he is going to repeat that performance -- in spades. (Pun intended, muthafucka.)
I see that Shaun has felt obliged to respond to the smear campaign begun by the minions of Breitbart (the folks who brought us James O'Keefe) and amplified by Don Preposterous. I started to read Shaun's response, but I stopped. Not because I don't believe him. Not because I am uninterested. Not because I don't think he has a right to defend himself.
I stopped reading at the top of the second paragraph when he wrote:
I refuse to speak in detail about the nature of my mother’s past, or her sexual partners, and ....
After reading that line, I paused and looked at the picture of 14 year old Shaun. I don't know why, but in that moment I realized the contents of the Pandora's Box I was about to open. It broke my heart. Just because something is on the Internet doesn't mean we have to look at it. Just because someone is being attacked doesn't mean we have to dignify it. I'm not going to feed the sickness run rampant through our sensationalized media. I'm not going to play that game. The venerable Thich Nhat Hanh once taught me that we don't just swallow poison by eating and drinking it. We can also swallow poison by looking at it or listening to it. Thank you for that lesson. Today, it saved me.
I don't know Shaun, I don't know his mother, but I do know what life was like in America in 1970. That's why I didn't have to read further than the line quoted to know what was coming. I stopped because my mother raised me right. Who am I to pass judgment on a mother because she tried to protect her child from a lifetime of hatred, anger and pain? What right do I have to invade their privacy? Call me old fashioned, but I still believe gentlemen know when to respect a woman's privacy and avert their gaze.
No one needs to tell me that thin reed of doubt Don Lemon was waving around like he'd won a Golden Ticket was anything more than the final disgraceful act of journalistic malpractice in an undistinguished career. That is discouraging, but not surprising in today's cesspool of cable TV. What makes me sick is the fact that, of all people, Don Lemon would be the one to broadcast this crap. How could someone who spent so many years shamefully hiding his sexual identity find it in himself to be party to this sort of outing?
Coulter repulses me. Hannity offends me. O'Reilly irritates me. But Lemon -- disgusts me. Watching him makes me feel dirty. I doubt Lemon reads this, but if he does I will say here what I would say to his face.
Don Lemon, you are a disgrace to your profession. More importantly, you are a disgrace to your mother; you owe her an apology. I suggest you do it as publicly as you disgraced her, lest the rest of us think she didn't raise you right.