If Don Lemon Is Ageist, What Does That Make Nikki Haley?
Mental incompetence, like one’s prime, can happen at any age.
Over the past 10 days or so, there’s been much ado about comments Don Lemon made February 16 on his show CNN This Morning. He said, among other things, that according to Google, women are no longer in their prime once they’re past the age of 50.
Now that isn’t exactly what he said, but the gist of it was enough for social media, the news cycle, and people like Megyn Kelly and Tucker Carlson to break out the stones, especially since he preceded that observation with another inflammatory comment: He said 2024 Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is not in her prime because, well, because she’s 51. The personal dig was a retort to Haley’s suggestion that people over the age of 75 — like Joe Biden, 80, and 76-year-old Donald Trump (whom she’ll challenge next year in her bid for the Republican presidential nomination) — should be required to take mental competency tests in order to qualify to run for political office.
If you didn’t watch CNN This Morning that morning (and judging from the ratings, most people don’t watch it on any morning), it’s hard to quote Lemon verbatim or even offer full context for his words because the coverage and think pieces, which typically have included “sexist” and “ageist” in their headlines, have zeroed in on two things: what he said about Haley and what he said about Google. They’ve mostly left out the part at the beginning of the discussion where Lemon said, “This whole talk about age makes me uncomfortable,” and the part where he said he doesn’t necessarily agree with what those Google search results for “When is a woman in her prime?” say.
It’s all been lost in translation or purposely ignored by critics eager to grind their axes and pounce on the latest celebrity gaffe involving race, religion, or women.
Since I don’t watch CNN This Morning and can’t find the conversation between Don Lemon and his cohosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins on YouTube, I have to depend here on the New York Post for fuller context of the conversation (although they, too, have left out crucial chunks of it), which, as I’ve pointed out, began while they were discussing Haley and her suggestion of mental…