Dem Debates Proves CNN Has Abandoned Journalism [OPINION]
Wednesday night's Democratic primary debate on CNN was nothing short of an unprofessional disgrace to our democratic process. The least professional and most unstable panelist imaginable is Don Lemon, and guess who was on the panel Wednesday?
Lemon did not allow people watching to think for themselves, nor did he ask the candidates if they viewed the president's remarks as "racist." Instead, he stated that Mr. Trump's recent remarks were racist as if it were a fact.
Neither Lemon nor anyone in charge over there knows the role of a debate panelist–or they simply don't care.
What Lemon did was disgusting and would have gotten him fired at any other time, on any other network, if the subject was anyone not named Donald Trump.
During the debate Wednesday night, Lemon asked Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet what he would do to bridge a racial divide that “has been stoked by the president’s racist rhetoric.”
Later on, Lemon, in a question to former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, referred to Trump's "racist tweets about Baltimore."
Obviously, the network didn't pull him aside during the commercial break to remind him of the actual role of a professional journalist, particularly during a presidential debate. Instead, they let the feathers fly and abandoned all sense of objectivity and journalistic tradition.
Last week, Trump was called a racist for calling Baltimore a rat-infested disgrace caused by failed Democratic leadership. The liberal media, CNN at the front, scrambled to lunge for race cards. It did not matter to them that videos surfaced of the Baltimore mayor touring the city's unsavory parts and appearing to be close to getting physically sick due to the smell of dead rats.
Another video showed Congressman Elijah Cummings himself declaring Baltimore a "drug-infested area."
Yet another video, this time from Fox 45 Baltimore airing a live report from a West Baltimore neighborhood, has gone viral. The reporter was discussing the local outrage of residents who resented the president's characterization of their city as rat-infested. During the live report, a large rat ran by the camera for all to see.
Bernie Sanders called half the city uninhabitable and "third world" while touring in 2015.
In fact, since President Trump took office, the federal government has given Baltimore almost $16 billion!
However, my opinion and Don Lemon's opinion belong on my show and on Lemon's opinion-generated show on CNN, respectively.
He could not help himself. He is emotionally fragmented from time to time. That's fine–but where is the producer at CNN to force him to check himself?
This needs to be remembered and Americans need to recognize CNN for what it has become, not for what it once was, a noble global reporting network. It is a reflection of the Democratic Party itself.
This went about three levels past what happened on Fox News but it was there, on the pro-conservative network, where Megyn Kelly began the "Trump vs. the media" battle. The debates in 2015 began with uneven treatment of the candidates when Kelly attacked Trump, challenging him to prove that he was not a verbally abusive misogynist.
She brought up his past use of words when publicly battling the likes of comedienne Rosie O'Donnell. Trump was up for it; he gave it right back to Kelly and has been the exact same man every day and ever since. Be nice, he's nice. Be rude and confrontational, and he is Don Rickles on steroids.
I wasn't even considering Trump at that point, and I recall thinking that Kelly's antagonistic question should have been tabled for her own show, but she went off the beaten path for a presidential debate. Lemon whipped out a macheté and blazed new paths for debates last night. It was not a trend I'd like to see develop.
It was bad enough that Mr. Trump wasn't even in the room to defend himself, but the spineless attack by Lemon and Jake Tapper interjected opinion and invited condemnation of what was no longer treated as opinion, but an established fact, thanks to CNN.
CNN should be ashamed and so should Don Lemon, but in order to have the ability to be ashamed, one must have humility and character. There seems to be a vacuum of either in those studios in Atlanta.
Oh, if you didn't see the debate, I think you should just wait until someone finally declares that they are actually running to be your Santa Claus, not your president. Former VP and Senator Joe Biden was attacked by his "friends" on the stage Wednesday night, reminiscent of the ambush of John Snow by his subordinates of the Night's Watch at Castle Black.
I think Mr. Biden is still in traction if you want to send a get-well card.
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at ken.pittman@