Look. We’ve had a lot of fun with Don Lemon over the past year or so, mostly because he has a history of doing stupid and silly things on the air. The longtime CNN anchor also likes to put together batshit crazy panels. It’s just who he is.
However, now and then, when given the situation, and considering the fact that CNN has burdened their hosts with fact-deficient Trump defenders in nearly every segment this year, Lemon is able to rise to the occasion and cut through the typical ‘All Sides Matter’ bullshit. Tuesday night was one such instance.
With the news du jour being Donald Trump’s “Second Amendment people” remarks at a rally earlier that day, in which the GOP nominee made a not-so-subtle call for violence against Hillary Clinton, Lemon moderated a panel discussion on the comments. While two of the panelists were respected political commentators David Gergen and Jeffrey Toobin, the other was Republican Congressional candidate and over-caffeinated meathead Dan Bongino.
After Toobin talked about the seriousness of Trump’s comments and potential legal issues that could arise for Trump, Bongino began to chuckle, saying he was “trying not to break down in laughter” as he couldn’t believe anyone thought Trump was inciting violence. Lemon wanted to make sure that Bongino saw the same thing everyone else did, so he played Trump’s comments in full, so as to provide proper context.
Following the clip, Bongino tried to pass off some tripe about Trump referring to data concerning one-issue voters and how he was just trying to get them motivated to go to the polls to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat. He then essentially called Lemon and the rest of the panelists stupid, saying it was “utter absurdity” to think Trump’s words were a directive for violence.
Lemon just wasn’t having it. Reminding Bongino that Trump is running for, oh, y’know, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, he pointed out that if he was trying to rally voters to a cause, he should have said that. Not say something that can easily be inferred as a threat of assassination. Bongino’s response — to call out Lemon for not having a “clear and open mind.”
Welp, that was all it took. The anchor tore into the former Secret Service agent — seriously, you’d think HE’D know better regarding threats like this — telling him that what he was saying made “no sense!” Lemon added that he sat there and watched Trump with his two eyes and listened with his two ears, and he saw and heard what the former reality TV star said.
After telling Bongino that “we’re not stupid” and that he couldn’t believe the amount of spin coming from Trump supporters and surrogates, he finished off his tirade by shouting “you should be ashamed of yourself!” The GOPer responded that he was “ashamed that you’re talking to me like a child” and called him nothing but a TV guy who didn’t know anything about anything.
The back and forth continued a bit more, with Lemon insisting that Bongino was the one treating him like a child and that the Congressional hopeful was “lying to the American people” about this subject. Bongino once again called Lemon a TV guy, said he didn’t know “crap” and dared him to cut off his mic. (Something Lemon did not do for the rest of the segment.)
In the end, all this did was make Bongino look like an unhinged, unstable, dishonest asshole who can only follow the simple conservative playbook of blame the media, complain about liberal bias and play the constant victim. If he doesn’t make it to Congress, he’ll have a nice home at Fox News or AM talk radio.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of CNN: