Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Arsalan Iftikhar's Thank You Letter To Don Lemon

Fox News anchors work heard to be ignorant and offensive. For Don Lemon, it just comes naturally. Lemon unsurprisingly placed his foot in his mouth when he asked Muslim civil rights attorney Arsalan Iftikhar if he supported ISIS.

“Again in August, 16 percent of French citizens support ISIS,” Lemon pressed. “Would you describe those who support ISIS as Islamic extremists? Do you support ISIS?”

The question stunned Iftikhar.

“Wait,” he replied. “Did you just ask me if I support ISIS? I just answered your question. I said that obviously these 16 percent of people support the ideology, but again, I don’t think that would necessarily extrapolate to supporting of killing of innocent people.”

Imagine asking a German civil rights lawyer if he supports the Nazi Party. That gives you an idea of how tasteless Lemon's question was to Iftikhar.

In Islamic Monthly, Iftikhar thanked Lemon in an open letter. Get ready for the snark.

“Now to be completely honest with you,” Iftikhar wrote, “I totally thought that I had misheard him because surely there was no respectable journalist in the world who would ask a Muslim human rights lawyer whether he supports an organization which violates human rights each and every day.”

“But then I remembered that I was dealing with Don Lemon,” he said.

Just reading that made me flinch. Iftikhar delivered a serious burn to Lemon. Unfortunately for Lemon, Iftikhar is just getting warmed up.

Iftikhar wrote, “In less than 24 hours, there were nearly 5,000 media articles written condemning Don Lemon for his asinine question in major publications such as BuzzFeed, Deadspin, The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today and more. Most of these articles called the ISIS question just the latest in a series of major Don Lemon on-air gaffes; including his previous theory about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 perhaps flying into a “black hole” or once asking an alleged Bill Cosby rape victim why she didn’t bite off the comedian’s penis whilst being allegedly raped by him.”

Iftikhar finishes off Lemon with these paragraphs.

“I can honestly say that I have never become more ‘famous’ than after this latest Don Lemon gaffe,” Iftikhar said, before implying that Lemon has perhaps brought enough embarrassment on CNN that he may be following the likes of Ed Henry over to a different news network.

“It is a sincere honor to be added to the litany of famous ‘Malaysian-black-hole-penis-biting’ Don Lemon media gaffes which can be added to his audition tape for his next job at FOX News Channel,” Iftikhar wrote.

“So from the bottom of my heart,” he concluded, “I want to publicly thank Don Lemon for making me famous with his patently offensive racist dumb-ass question.”

Let's recap Lemon's other lowlights.

Lemon was actually stupid enough to ask Mary Schiavo, the former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation, if Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in a black hole. Lemon finds a way to trivialize a tragic plane disappearance.

Lemon projected blame on alleged Bill Cosby rape victim, Joan Tarshis, for not defending herself. If you wonder why more women don't come forward about being rape than just watch this interview.

Lemon: Can I ask you this, because—and please, I don't mean to be crude, OK?

Tarshis: Yeah.

Lemon: Because I know some of you—and you said this last night, that he—you lied to him and said, "I have an infection, and if you rape me, or if you do—if you have intercourse with me, then you will probably get it and give it to your wife."

Tarshis: Right.

Lemon: And you said he made you perform oral sex.

Tarshis: Right.

Lemon: You—you know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn't want to do it.

Tarshis: Oh. Um, I was kind of stoned at the time, and quite honestly, that didn't even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have.

Lemon: Right. Meaning the using of the teeth, right?

Tarshis: Yes, that's what I'm thinking you're ...

Lemon: As a weapon.

Tarshis: Yeah, I didn't even think of it.

Lemon didn't have to ask that.

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