Like any other major broadcast news pundit, Don Lemon has had his fair share of mini-scandals — the most recent of which came when Don suggested to Bill Cosby rape accuser Joan Tarshis that she should have bit Bill’s penis when he was allegedly forcing her to perform oral sex on him. Cries of “rape apologist” and “victim blaming” sprung out in the backlash, leading Lemon to apologize Wednesday afternoon on his CNN show. You can watch both his apology and the original interview below.
Other media has been less than forgiving about Don’s “just bite your rapist” questioning. Raw Story, along with other online media, sarcastically remarked that the apology was “so thoughtful and heartfelt, it took all of 14 seconds.” Another article in the Washington Post criticized not just Lemon, but the breaking news cycle at large for creating a cat-and-mouse game for internet bloggers and journalists to seize on such comments. That, however, didn’t prevent the Washington Post from saying that they were also unsatisfied with Don’s apology.
“Factual problem: Whereas Lemon today states that he’d never want to suggest a victim could prevent a rape, that’s precisely what he stated last night as a premise to his question about biting. So that’s a problem. Though induction is very selective, Lemon may just get into the Insufficient Media Mea Culpa Hall of Fame with this one.”
Despite the apology airing almost 24 hours ago, #DonLemonRapePreventionTips are still trending on Twitter. Critics participating in the hashtag attempt to highlight what they see as the absurdity of Don’s suggestion that Joan should have simply chomped down on Cosby’s penis to stop the rape in progress.
Wear a less revealing burka. #DonLemonRapePreventionTips
— Jon Berkemeyer (@berkemeyerjj) November 19, 2014
#DonLemonRapePreventionTips Build up a tolerance to roofie drugs, just like that guy did in The Princess Bride.
— Everett M (@EverettMaroon) November 19, 2014
#DonLemonRapePreventionTips because i’m sure any rapist would respond gently and thoughtfully to someone biting down on their man parts. — meghan koushik (@meghan_koushik) November 19, 2014
— Zandy Hartig (@zandywithaz) November 19, 2014
Always be eating something so that nothing else can fit in your mouth. #DonLemonRapePreventionTips
— Dylan Reid Miller (@missdylanreid) November 19, 2014
Lemon’s suggestion wasn’t the first time Bill’s name had come up on his show. About a year ago, Don interviewed Cosby about what the black community can do to address certain issues that it faces.
Do you think Don Lemon’s questions to Bill Cosby’s rape accuser were out of line?
[Image via CNN]