What would happen if Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity kept confusing one black Fox News reporter with another? What would be the outcry if O’Reilly kept calling Juan Williams, Marc Lamont Hill? The outcry of racism would be deafening and most media outlets would try to embarrass those men off the air. Well it happened on CNN and somehow I think most of mainstream media will ignore it.
I must give props to left-leaning Mediaite for being the only outlet to cover and really expose the issue.
T.J. Holmes was filling in on Rick Sanchez’s Rick’s List yesterday and was interviewing CNN correspondent Jeanne Meserve. Meserve thought she was talking to CNN reporter Don Lemon instead of Holmes and kept calling him Don. Here’s a picture of Lemon and Holmes (Lemon on the left with Holmes on the right of Suzanne Malveaux.)
Both men are young, black, and with similar statures – but they don’t really look alike. Back in January a blog called Danielle Belton’s The Black Snob had an article about frustration with some fans of Don Lemon thinking he was TJ Holmes when Holmes was filling in for Rich Sanchez at the time. Belton posted a picture of the two and exclaimed,
“In Don’s defense, though both brothers are cute they don’t look a DAMN THING ALIKE!”
Well obviously CNN’s Meserve think they look a lot alike. Here’s the video.
Holmes covers any frustration he felt well. He does not correct Meserve when she’s on with him and almost refuses to say anything about her error. However, Holmes was a little more direct on his Twitter during the next commercial break.
That tweet led to former Fox News contributor Marc Lamont Hill and Don Lemon having an interesting give and take on the issue.
“@marclamonthill stop instigating marc. Wait til it happens to u. And if u continue coming on CNN, it will. “hey, are u Tj lemon? :-)” – Don Lemon
Lemon says something pretty surprising in his Tweet. Hill appears to have never been mistaken for another black man on Fox News, but Lemon promises Hill will get that treatment on CNN. That is shocking when you consider what would happen to any Fox News reporter making such a mistake. The video of that error would be played on every media mainstream outlet, and it would become proof of racism on Fox News.
Meserve is an award-winning journalist for CNN. I do not believe she is a racist. That is not the point. Claims of racism are far too common these days. They have been used to attack Tea Parties, Fox News, and anyone against Obama’s policies. And now we have a CNN reporter falling into the old stereotype of ‘all black people look alike’, and we don’t hear a word. Claims of racism seem to only exist when it is politically expedient. We saw that with Harry Reid talking about ‘negro dialect’ and elsewhere. This blunder by Meserve is just one more piece of evidence to prove we have gotten way too political with racism. What people need to understand is that the more we claim something is racist that isn’t – the more the concept loses any real meaning.