CNN anchors Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin have taken offense at the word “mob” being used to describe angry protesters who harass public figures and shut down guests who dare to label demonstrators as such.
CNN famously aired the uncensored version of the word “s---hole” 195 times in one day, and has devoted countless hours of coverage to porn star Stormy Daniels and her attorney – often using graphic terms to describe sexual encounters. But the word “mob” apparently crosses a line for Jeff Zucker’s network.
On Tuesday, Lemon – who once held up a sign featuring the N-word on his program – declared that harassing elected officials in public settings such as restaurants is not “mob behavior” during a heated discussion on the topic.
“Is it mob behavior? No, it’s not mob behavior. It’s people who are upset and they’re angry with the way the country is going,” Lemon said before explaining that the Constitution allows Americans to protest “wherever you want.”
Lemon said that calling people “mobs because they are exercising their constitutional right is just beyond the pale.”
Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis, who was a guest on the show, tried to say that Lemon would call the same actions a mob if conservatives were doing it, but the CNN show quickly cut to a commercial.
“Mob” is defined as “a disorderly or riotous crowd of people,” according to Dictionary.com.
Earlier in the day, Baldwin also took exception to the use of the term “mob” when discussing Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his wife, Heidi, being pestered out of a restaurant by angry protesters. Lewis was also a guest on Baldwin’s show and called the protestors who harassed Cruz a mob.
“Oh, you’re not going to use the mob word here,” Baldwin said before Lewis fired back, “It is totally a mob.”
“Stop, stop. A mob is what we saw in Charlottesville, Virginia two Augusts ago,” Baldwin declared.
Guest Mary Katharine Ham chimed in, “If it were tea partiers, we’d call it a mob.”
Baldwin then decided to “move past the m-word.”
“I do feel like that is part of the weaponization of what’s happening now on the right,” she said.
In addition to Cruz, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen have also been forced out of restaurants because of their politics and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has encouraged such behavior.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters once told a crowd of supporters.