On Monday, CNN released an unintentionally hilarious ad with strange references to apples and bananas in which the third-place news network claimed to present “facts first.” Nothing could be farther from the fruit, that is, truth. In fact, CNN couldn’t even keep that promise for a few hours. By Monday evening, anchor Don Lemon was done with facts and filling the airwaves with conjecture and sanctimony as he tearfully made his way through an open letter to President Trump.
The reason for Lemon’s moment of weepness was because he has sided with Gold Star widow Myeshia Johnson and her claim that Trump was callous toward her husband’s death. Lemon said his “heart was broken” after seeing the back-and-forth between Mrs. Johnson and Trump and said he “felt compelled” to address Trump personally and to request, “Please stop.”
Of course, Lemon started the whole letter off by talking about Trump’s personal attacks against the CNN host, but once that was out of the way, Lemon got down to business:
“Your tweet this morning essentially called her a liar. Mr. Trump, please stop it. Please stop.”
Okay, we’ll stop. Let’s talk about that word “essentially.” That’s not “facts firsts,” that’s conjecture. Trump’s tweet said: “I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!” Nowhere did he say “liar.” The widow has made her case, and Trump is simply stating his.
As the tears began to well up in Lemon’s eyes, the open letter turned more personal toward Trump’s own family. He asked the president to imagine his daughters having to fight with the commander-in-chief while they are pregnant and grieving. Again, that’s an appeal to emotions, but “facts first,” or something like that.
Lemon urged Trump, “If Myeshia Johnson is mad at you, take it, just as President Bush and others did. Take it. It’s part of what you signed up for.”
See what he did there? Johnson claims Trump said the same of her late-husband.
“You are the commander-in-chief; the president of the United States of America — the greatest country on Earth — act like it!” Lemon exclaimed. “Act like you know that you’re big enough not to have to win every fight or respond to every criticism.”
Lemon is asking the president to take a cue from CNN and ignore the facts and let untruths remain unchecked. Or at least that’s essentially what Lemon is saying. (See, that works both ways, Donny!)
“Act like you know where the high road is,” Lemon’s lecture continued. “Confident and secure people ask for help all the time, and they ask for forgiveness. Insecure people think they know everything and need no help.”
As Lemon’s emotions ramped, so did his accusations. Watch out, here comes the racism:
“I want you to think about this: The only Gold Star families you’ve attacked are people of color. How does that look?”
Lemon ended his tirade with a message directed at Mrs. Johnson, full of compassion and sincerity only capable from someone as pious and lofty as Mr. Lemon who single-handedly rewrote CNN’s new motto: “Emotions first, facts essentially don’t matter.”