Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Reported By Chris Agee | November 1, 2018 at 1:04pm

CNN host Don Lemon is facing continued backlash over comments he made earlier this week regarding the threat he claimed one group in particular poses to homeland security. Lemon drew fire specifically for declaring that the “biggest terror threat in this country are white men.”

Among those who have since publicly denounced Lemon’s comments are three co-chairmen of the Project 21 Black Leadership Network, an organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank. A statement from Horace Cooper, Bishop Council Nedd II and Stacy Washington called on CNN bosses to take action in light of the on-air proclamation.

“Within a space of five seconds, CNN’s Don Lemon went from saying we shouldn’t demonize people to broadly labeling white men as our nation’s ‘biggest terror threat,’” they wrote. “That’s not responsible journalism. This cannot stand.”

The trio went on to cite the network president’s recent statement denouncing President Donald Trump’s frequent criticism of CNN and the news media in general. Following a bomb scare at CNN’s New York City headquarters last month, Jeff Zucker issued a statement describing a “total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media.”

Zucker called on Trump and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to “understand their words matter,” and concluded that “they have shown no comprehension of that” so far in the administration’s first term.

Cooper, Nedd and Washington wrote that Zucker should apply his own standard to his network’s hosts.

“CNN President Jeff Zucker recently called out the White House for its criticism of the media, saying President Trump doesn’t comprehend the importance of the words he uses,” the statement concluded. “It’s time for Zucker to put his own house in order — starting with explaining how Don Lemon’s outrageous statement can stand in light of Zucker’s call for civility.”

Lemon addressed the controversy in a segment Wednesday evening, using data from the Government Accountability Office that indicates right-wing extremists have been responsible for more deadly attacks on U.S. soil than left-leaning groups.

“Earlier this week, I made some comments about that in a conversation with Chris (Cuomo),” he said. “I said that the biggest terror threat in this country comes from radicals on the far right, primarily white men. That angered some people. But let’s put emotion aside and look at the cold hard facts. The evidence is overwhelming.”

The information he referenced showed 62 separate attacks staged by terrorists believed to hold radical right-wing views have caused a total of 106 deaths since the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001. Comparing that to a much lower total assigned to left-wing extremist groups, Lemon declared that there was one deadly leftist attack “for every eight deadly attacks by right-wing extremists.”

Islamist extremists were responsible for a total of 119 terror-related deaths in 23 attacks over the same period, according to the GAO report.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.

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