CNN anchor Don Lemon is facing increased backlash on Tuesday after hosting a Saturday night panel of guests who mercilessly mocked supporters of President Donald Trump.
According to Fox News, Lemon was joined by New York Times columnist and CNN contributor Wajahat Ali, and ex-GOP strategist Rick Wilson, who both used the opportunity to make fun of Trump supporters, especially those who live in the southern parts of the United States.
The mocking started after Wilson and Ali began first poking fun at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo because of a recent exchange he had with an NPR reporter.
“[Pompeo] also knows deep within his heart that Donald Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter U and a picture of an actual physical crane next to it,” Wilson said, which triggered laughter from Lemon.
“He knows that this is, you know, an administration defined by ignorance of the world. And so that’s partly him playing to the base and playing to their audience. You know, the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump,” Wilson added. [bold emphasis ours]
At that point, Lemon was in near full-blown laughter as Wilson and Ali went on to mock supporters of the president.
Using a heavy southern accent, Wilson said, “Donald Trump’s the smart one — and y’all elitists are dumb!” — pretending as if he was a Trump supporter saying it.
Ali added to the mocking, saying “You elitists with your geography and your maps- and your spelling!”
The mocking continued and Lemon was laughing uncontrollably. Lemon finally had to stop laughing and regain his composure, saying “That was good. That was a good one. I needed that.”
His outburst of emotion didn’t go unnoticed on social media. A former CNN producer was so disturbed by the display, he leveled criticism at Lemon and his guests in tweet response, even admitting that these types of displays from the media are what drives American voters away from Democrats and the left.
“The arrogance, the dismissiveness, the smug cackling, the accents. If Donald Trump wins re-election this year, I’ll remember this brief CNN segment late one Saturday night in January as the perfect encapsulation for why it happened,” Steve Krakauer tweeted.
The arrogance, the dismissiveness, the smug cackling, the accents.
If Donald Trump wins re-election this year, I’ll remember this brief CNN segment late one Saturday night in January as the perfect encapsulation for why it happened. pic.twitter.com/8kQ6zN9AZV
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) January 28, 2020
Trump himself fired back at Lemon in a Monday night tweet, calling the CNN anchor the “dumbest man on television.”
Don Lemon, the dumbest man on television (with terrible ratings!). https://t.co/iQXCc7lvCt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2020
Ivanka Trump, among a large number of others, chimed in with her response on the embarrassing display from the major cable news network.
You consistently make fun of half the country and then complain that it is divided.
The arrogance, mocking accents and smug ridicule of this nation’s ‘Real Elites’ is disgusting. https://t.co/p3RQzymx4s
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) January 28, 2020
More criticism of Lemon’s segment poured in on social media, with some viewers who are normally fans of the struggling news network admitting that the segment was not a good look for the network or for Lemon.