On Monday night, the conservative host of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight took aim at Mr Lemon, labelling his CNN show “failing” and the host a “successful victim”.
This was in reference to a recent interview Mr Lemon gave to The Washington Post in which the CNN host said, “We’re living in two different realities as Black and white people” to illustrate the racial disparity in the US.
Mr Carlson cited this interview, saying, , “And so we asked what on the victim scale, on the scale between Meghan Markle and Michelle Obama, and how oppressed Donald Lemon is.”
Mr Carlson added that his show looked up property records for Mr Lemon.
“Well, we did a little digging, and here are the details. Don Lemon lives in a $4.3 million home in Sag Harbour, New York. No, he does not live in Section Eight housing.”
According to Mr Carlson, this meant that Lemon was disqualified from talking about being Black in America, since he lives in an affluent, predominately white area on Long Island.
“He regularly lectures America about diversity. What he didn’t tell the Washington Post is that in his free time he runs away from diversity, his reality is that he doesn’t like diversity at all,” Mr Carlson claimed.
As his monologue to camera gets increasingly heated, Mr Carlson expresses contempt for how both Lemon and President Joe Biden have called out white supremacy in America.
“You’ve heard from the White House from the president himself that white supremacy is a lurking threat you might not always see it but it’s always there like Russian spies white supremacists come in the dark of night in the most surprising form they’re shapeshifters, and we’re not calling anybody, a white supremacist here, but you have to ask yourself when you put this on the screen now,” Mr Carlson said.
Carlson then zoomed in a cookie jar on Lemon’s kitchen counter. “But you have to ask yourself when you put this on the screen now. What is this, this symbol of hate, symbol of hate, posing as a cookie jar.”
He goes on to describe the cookie jar as not only “white supremacist” but as a “QAnon cookie jar”.
People on Twitter reacted to how strange and out of order these comments were. Some used them to highlight the host’s double standards, like Justin Baragona, contributing editor at The Daily Beast, who pointed out that MrCarlson had once gotten angry about how The New York Times almost published where he lived.
He tweeted, “There’s a lot going on in this segment, such as Tucker accusing Don Lemon of having a ‘white supremacist QAnon cookie jar,’ but what stands out is Tucker telling his viewers where Lemon lives. Remember when he lost his s**t over a potential story about his Maine residence?”
MSNBC host Joy Reid tweeted, “This is so dangerous… and he knows it.”
In a reply to his thread, a user identified that it was not a QAnon cookie jar, but rather a Mammy cookie jar, which depict Black women as caricatures.
“It’s a Mammy Black Americana cookie jar. I don’t know how Tucky related it to Qanon. Anyway, this is stupid,” wrote a Twitter user.
People agreed that it “a goofy thing to own, from another era. It makes sense why he would want to have one, to serve as a reminder.”
“Kind of like how former NFL player and MN Supreme Court Judge Alan Page has spent decades acquiring a vast collection of Americana from slavery to the Jim Crow era. As he says, it makes the past visible,” another person wrote.
One person wrote that his takedown of Mr Lemon was a “white supremacist tactic”.
“This is a white supremacist tactic: vilify Black people who have managed to escape or avoid poverty for advocating for those who haven’t. As if they should shut up and be happy. Same tactic used against NFL and NBA players that use their platforms to advocate for social justice.”
“He’s targeting him publicly, but will claim it was just an “innocent” story,” another wrote.
Another user wrote, “@TuckerCarlson You are a PIG. Perhaps we should tell everyone where you live???? Bat**t Q crazy.”