By Joseph Wulfsohn
Published January 28, 2020
CNN received some unwanted attention on Monday night after a panel discussion that mocked Trump supporters went viral, but it appears the video clip that was shared on social media far exceeded the network's actual viewership.
The clip, which featured CNN anchor Don Lemon, New York Times columnist and CNN contributor Wajahat Ali, and ex-GOP strategist Rick Wilson mocking Trump supporters as illiterate "credulous boomer rubes," was shared by former CNN digital producer Steve Krakauer after the panel discussion originally aired on Saturday night following impeachment trial coverage.
However, the video that was shared on Twitter has more viewers than CNN had Saturday night.
During the 10 p.m. hour on Saturday, which was when Lemon had his laughing fit, CNN averaged only 713,000 viewers. As of Tuesday evening, the clip had nearly 10 million views on Twitter and climbing.
The clip's viewership was amplified when President Trump mocked Lemon, who he called "the dumbest man on television," as well as his "terrible ratings," to his own 72 million Twitter followers.
Others on social media mocked CNN as they pointed out the viewership difference between the network and the viral clip.
"The most telling thing about the Don Lemon segment is no one commented on it when it aired. No one watched it," conservative commentator Stephen Miller tweeted.
"Underrated hilarious aspect of this is that it took 2 full days for anyone to notice. And it got more attention being tweeted from an account with 20k followers than it did when it aired on CNN," another Twitter user pointed out.
"It’s doubly awesome that this clip from a couple of days ago is just now getting attention because no one watches @CNN. These lunatics were so smug as they mocked Trump supporters, but were literally shouting into the void," Daily Caller White House correspondent Amber Athey reacted.
The Saturday night panel was originally discussing the heated exchange Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had with an NPR reporter, in which he allegedly challenged the journalist to point out Ukraine on a blank map.
Wilson used the topic to mock President Trump as well as his supporters.
"[Pompeo] also knows deep within his heart that Donald Trump couldn't find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter U and a picture of an actual physical crane next to it," Wilson began, causing Lemon to chuckle. "He knows that this is, you know, an administration defined by ignorance of the world. And so that's partly him playing to the base and playing to their audience. You know, the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump."
As Lemon began crying with tears of laughter, Wilson went on to depict what he thought a typical Trump supporter sounded like.
"Donald Trump's the smart one — and y'all elitists are dumb!" Wilson said with a heavy southern accent.
"'You elitists with your geography and your maps -- and your spelling!" Ali chimed in during the mockery.
"Your math and your reading!" Wilson added. "All those lines on the map!"
The CNN anchor almost lost his breath from laughing, wiping tears from his eyes with a tissue.
"That was good," Lemon reacted. "That was a good one. I needed that."
Lemon and the panelists were widely blasted on social media, sparking condemnation from Trump, his children Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., as well as several members of the president's 2020 campaign.