Lemon blew up at Will Cain of “The Blaze,” who had decried society’s “...cheap outrage on television” and “...cheap hashtag activism on Twitter...”
It ended up with Cain claiming that — “I have been painted in an unfair and inaccurate light.... The only person that invoked [Michelle Obama] today was Don Lemon, not me.”
“CNN anchor Don Lemon lost his cool on Thursday when he thought a guest on Ashleigh Banfield's “Legal View” criticized Michelle Obama for doing ‘cheap hashtag activism’ when she joined the #BringBackOurGirls movement on social media on Wednesday....” (See “CNN's Don Lemon Explodes at The Blaze's Will Cain Over Michelle Obama ‘Cheap Activism’ Comments...” by Greg Gillman, 5/8/14, The Wrap – Covering Hollywood [http://www.thewrap.com/michelle-obama-don-lemon-cnn-the-blaze-will-cain-monica-lewinsky][with video link to CNN of incident]). According to Mr. Gillman’s article, a panel that included Don Lemon and Will Cain on the CNN cable news program “Legal View” with Ashleigh Banfield was actually discussing a new Vanity Fair article by Monica Lewinsky when Mr. Cain called the infamous presidential mistress “a cheap punchline” in the media and then went on to discuss his larger frustration with how the public reacts to issues like the Lewinsky article and the abduction of the school girls in Nigeria. (Read more at “CNN Anchor Flips Out, Rashly Accuses Conservative Guest of 'Dog Whistle' Insult” by Matt Hadro, 5/8/14, NewsBusters [http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matt-hadro/2014/05/08/cnn-anchor-flips-out-rashly-accuses-conservative-guest-dog-whistle-insul].)
Late Thursday morning, a shouting match ensued on CNN after Cain, who is a conservative commentator for “The Blaze,” merged the Lewinsky story with that of the hundreds of girls kidnapped in Nigeria when he said that in the current environment, Americans were guilty of cheap outrage on TV and cheap hashtag activism on Twitter, adding that the U.S. government should “make its policy outside of Twitter.”
Lemon really was set off when Cain made this remark in response to another panelist on the show: “I'm telling you that putting a tweet up with a hashtag on it, you didn't do your duty today....” To which Lemon reacted with this line: “That's disgusting to say about over 200 girls.... What do you expect the first lady to do?”
Cain, pushed back with this: “I said society had gotten cheap.... We do cheap outrage on television, we do cheap hashtag activism on Twitter … Every single person, Don! It's a meme. I didn't say anything about the first lady! You did!”
After that Lemon wouldn't let it go and went on — "... I just think what he said was a dog whistle for to say, – oh, putting up – you're talking about the First Lady. Don't get on television on CNN and... I'm not stupid and I've been on television with you before and I know your game. That's what you're talking about...."
For a CNN panel like they were on together yesterday, maybe Cain was being too clever; maybe Lemon was being too sensitive; maybe both.....