On Tuesday evening, CNN's Don Lemon displayed a hint of journalistic integrity by wanting more facts before making too many comments on the video that shows a white male cop slamming a black female student to the ground.
The video, which surfaced Monday, has caused such a stir on social media has been given it's own hashtag, #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh. Police brutality based on racism was the immediate narrative broadcast with the video despite the lack of evidence to support such a claim. The violent confrontation and subsequent media outrage has led to the officer's termination.
Most who have viewed the video -- CNN has had it on perpetual loop for almost 48 hours -- have little doubt that the officer went too far in apprehending the 16-year-old girl and supports his firing, but no one has been able to prove that his motive was at all racist -- perhaps a problem with aggression, but not racist.
That's at least how Lemon explained it when he appeared on Wolf Blitzer's program defending his hesitation to "rush to judgment" soon after the video surfaced. His defense included a stab at journalism:
I wanted to learn more about what happened, more information. That is our job, here, that's our duty, here, as journalists -- to learn more information about what happened.
But despite his best efforts to try real journalism for a change, Lemon was met with scorn and condemnation from fellow guest and CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin who flatly denied needing anything but the video to prove the cop used excessive force.
Lemon further protested reminding Hostin that the FBI has not decided the outcome, nor has a thorough investigation taken place. In that spirit, Lemon advised her and anyone else in the media to refrain from a final judgment. He warned against letting the emotion of "how we think it should play out" get in the way.
And for having an opinion that doesn't line up with some others in the black community, Lemon was labeled an Uncle Tom on social media.
Mediate has the video.