In a recent monologue on his show on CNN anchor, Don Lemon took aim at former first lady Melania Trump. The problem the precipitated the comments was Lemon’s contention that Donald Trump was absolutely obsessed with his predecessor, former president Barack Obama. It is true that Trump was obsessed with bashing Obama for a long time. Trump was one of the first proponents of the birther conspiracy during Obama’s first run for president in 2008. In his monologue, Lemon surmised that it was Obama’s intelligence and self-made success that really got under Trump’s skin. He suggested that Trump was only successful because of “daddy’s money,” harkening back to Trump’s comments about receiving a “small loan of a million dollars” from his father. Beyond the political, however, Lemon started to compare Melania Trump with Barack Obama’s wife, the former First Lady Michelle Obama. Lemon began to compare the looks of the two women, stating his preference for Michelle Obama over the former supermodel Melania Trump. Lemon also wondered out loud whether Trump’s obsession with Obama is because the latter’s wife is more attractive and successful or because of Obama’s race. Lemon’s rant went outside of the purely political and delved into the personal. Clearly, Lemon believes that he is peering into Trump’s psychology with respect to former President Obama and his wife.
Many critics of Lemon’s think that he much too far by bringing the former presidents’ wives into the discussion. Commentators from BlazeTV expressed their feeling that such a rant from a CNN commentator is wholly inappropriate. BlazeTV personality Allie Beth Stuckey noted that if someone had made such a claim about Obama and Laura Bush many people would have rightly called the remark racist. Stuckey also noted Melania’s status as an immigrant and commented that it is hypocritical for a CNN personality like Lemon to criticize an immigrant just because her name is Trump. A legal analyst named Stephanie Haney noted that while she supports Lemon and his politics overall, she thinks bringing the wives into the mix is entirely unnecessary.
It is clear, though, what motivated the rant on Lemon’s part. Prior to Lemon’s comments about Michelle and Melania Donald Trump had tweeted a string of interesting bits of media criticism. He claimed the “Lyin Brian Williams” is still preferable to “Fake News” CNN. He subtly accused Joe Scarborough of murdering his intern. Most notably Trump called Don Lemon “the dumbest man on television.” Trump likes to give nicknames to those he deems his enemies in order to try to make them look small or foolish. Given this tweet, it is understandable why Lemon would take out some of his frustrations with Trump live on CNN. Still, it is certainly inappropriate for Lemon to make comments about men’s wives on TV. Melania and Michelle have nothing to do with Lemon’s feud with Trump.