CNN's Don Lemon compared Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to former Alabama governor -- and segregationist -- George Wallace on Sunday evening. What prompted the jarring comparison? Romney's commencement speech at Liberty University, where he said marriage is between a man and a woman.
The openly-gay CNN anchor played Romney's words immediately after a clip of Governor Wallace crying for "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!" Wallace, Lemon explained, later "evolved" and lived to regret those words, and opponents of same-sex marriage might do the same. The subject of the segment was "words that come back to haunt you."
"But he [Wallace] too, evolved and later recognized his own ignorance, his own bigotry and his own hatred," Lemon insisted, and called for opponents of same-sex marriage to do the same. So are opponents of same-sex marriage bigoted, hateful, and ignorant?
Lemon's point of his "No Talking Points" segment was that Romney and the "black folks" whom Lemon purposely singled out for their opposition to gay marriage, echo George Wallace in their ignorance and backwardness, not to mention their bigotry, and need to shape up and get with the times.
And this seems to be the underlying theme behind CNN's slanted coverage of President Obama's "historic" announcement on same-sex marriage last week, where the network hosted an overwhelming number of pro-gay guests and even excercised some nastiness of their own against one of the few guests from the opposition.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on May 13 on Newsroom at 10:31 p.m. EDT, is as follows:
DON LEMON: It is time now for "No Talking Points." Alright, I'm going to warn you because I'm going to tick a whole lot of people off here. The subject tonight: words that come back to haunt you.
GEORGE WALLACE, former Alabama governor: And I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.
(End Video Clip)
LEMON: Honestly, can you imagine having uttered those words in front of television cameras or being one of those people in the crowd cheering on Alabama's governor George Wallace? That wasn't so long ago. It was the 1960s. Now think about how far we have come, and think about what this might sound like a few decades from now.
MITT ROMNEY: Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.
(End Video Clip)
LEMON: I'm not singling out just Mitt Romney or Republicans. Black folks, listen to some of your own words.
LEMON: So I'll end where I started, with Alabama governor George Wallace who once stood in front of the entrance of a school to block black students, who vehemently opposed blacks and whites marrying each other.
But he, too, evolved and later recognized his own ignorance, his own bigotry and his own hatred. And about those words that came back to haunt him he said, and I quote here, "I never should have said it because it wasn't true. I saw then that a house divided could not stand, that black and white people had to live with each other."
It took him almost to the end of his life, decades, to get there to do it, so I will simply ask, when it comes to this marriage rights issue, do you really want to wait that long?