Touré Neblett, the hyper-partisan 9/11 truther who is co-host of MSNBC’s afternoon show “The Cycle,” has said a number of idiotic things over the years.
Usually, he says such things in the context of an attack on a conservative or Republican--like last month when he confidently asserted that U.S. Senate seats can be gerrymandered. On Sunday, however, he decided to change things up a bit and make a stupid comment against a non-Republican by calling CNN anchor Don Lemon a “white leader.”
“Why aren’t white leaders like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh and Don Lemon doing anything to combat white on white violence?” he asked on Twitter in an attempt to mock the claims of some some conservatives who have said that they wish there would be more concern about black on black crime, especially from the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
Aside from the fact that neither Limbaugh nor O’Reilly have ever sought to “lead” white Americans or have ever represented themselves as “white leaders,” there is the rather more inconvenient matter that Lemon is actually black.
After being called out for his error, instead of stating that his attack on Lemon was a typo (he almost assuredly knows Lemon’s race), Neblett doubled down on stupidity, insisting that he meant that the CNN anchor and the other two men were actually “leaders of white people” instead of being “leaders who are white.”
That was probably the first and last time that the affable Lemon will ever be called a leader of white people. Not only does the CNN anchor not actually purport to lead people of any race, there is the fact while MSNBC has more black viewers than CNN does, even at its peak in the 2012 election, MSNBC had only 0.4 percent of all black Americans actually watching its programming. This means that not only is it untrue to call Don Lemon a leader of “white people” since he does not try to lead anyone, Neblett cannot really anoint himself some sort of spokesman for black opinion. Black Americans overwhelmingly don’t watch MSNBC--or any other cable news channel.
(For those feeling pendantic, the estimate in the above paragraph was based upon racial demographics provided by the Census Department cross-referenced with ratings data provided by MSNBC itself last year.)
Incidentally, what caused Neblett to attack Lemon were some remarks that the CNN anchor made earlier this year in support of O’Reilly after the Fox News star called out self-appointed “black leaders” like Jesse Jackson and MSNBC host Al Sharpton for their seeming tolerance of gang culture and entertainment that glorifies violence and misogyny. These cultural influences have a strong negative impact on some black boys and young men, O’Reilly argued.
A few days later, Lemon said he mostly agreed with those sentiments, even as he pointed out that conservatives have not shown much interest in doing anything other than lob rhetorical criticisms at black Americans.
Lemon’s statement of support provoked a backlash against him from left-wingers such as MSNBC commentator Goldie Taylor who called the CNN anchor a “turn coat mofo.” It looks like Neblett is still smarting from being served the truth.