Last year the Columbia Journalism Reviewplaced Don Lemon on the "Worst Journalism of 2014" list. And not without reason: From entertaining the idea that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 could have been swallowed up by a blackhole, to advising a Bill Cosby rape victim that "there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn't want to do it..." to describing the protests in Ferguson, MO, with this old chestnut: "Obviously, there's a smell of marijuana in the air," Lemon failed.
That's a pity, because cable news isn't exactly replete with openly gay journalists of color. It's a shame both communities don't have a better representative on the air, but that doesn't mean people are going to accept Lemon in the job without a fight. A Change.org petition is calling for Lemon to be vacated of his post at CNN. As petition author Jamell Henderson writes in his opening paragraph:
"Since the tragic incident of Trayvon Martin in 2012, CNN anchor Don Lemon has consistently antagonized and defamed the characteristics of African-Americans on the national scale in his mass communications...
"From the holding of the 'N' word sign before the national audience to disrespecting the Mayor of Baltimore to his most recent comments of the unfortunate incident where a student was removed from her chair like a rag-doll by a police officer, Mr. Lemon has avoided the chance to state the obvious: the challenges that face African-Americans are real and that solutions need to be found."
Henderson raises some good points. Lemon's gaffs involving race are numerous and pretty indefensible. But is axing Lemon the answer?
The petition has garnered over 36,000 signatures and has a goal of 50,000.