Don Lemon, who is generally a reasonable news dude, grabbed a pretty good interview with Joan Tarshis, who has spoken out this week in solidarity with other victims, to say she was raped by Cosby in 1969, when she was 19 years old.
“I was shocked than this man I had idolized was now raping me,” Tarshis told Lemon. She also gave a heartbreaking explanation of how, in her drugged-up state, she attempted to talk her way out of being assaulted. She told Cosby she had an infection that he would catch and take home to his wife if he raped her. But he wanted what he wanted and instead, Tarshis says, he forced her to perform oral sex.
I’ll wait while your stomach turns at the thought of the disgusting scene she describes.
But Lemon is a news man first and decided to ask what he unimaginably thought was a reasonable question. He knew he was being shady, he gave himself away by qualifying the disgusting question.
“Can I ask you this? And please, I don’t mean to be crude, OK?” Lemon stammers. Which of course means whatever he follows with is going to be off-the-charts offensive. But, OK, Lemon, continue.
“You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it… meaning the using of the teeth, right?”
“Mmmhmm, yes, I didn’t even think of it,” Tarshis replies “Ouch. It didn’t cross my mind.”
Is this guy for real? This woman comes on his show, reveals her deepest darkest secret and the best Lemon’s got is “Why didn’t you bite his donger?” Beyond ridiculous.
Predictably, Twitter sprung into action generating the hastag #DonLemonReporting to call Lemon out.
"If Katrina victims wanted to live, why didn't they just stop eating gumbo and learn how to swim?" #DonLemonReporting
— Eri (@eri_cyrus) November 19, 2014
Here’s another gem:
When Germany invaded Poland, what was Poland wearing? Was it drunk? Was it begging for it? #DonLemonReporting
— JRehling (@JRehling) November 19, 2014
Of course, there likely won’t be any kind of professional shaming for his action. But let’s just use this moment to remember, if you’re a journalist and invite someone onto your show to talk about their sexual assault, maybe you shouldn’t use that as an opportunity to titillate your audience with asking how many teeth they used on a BJ they didn’t consent to. Not cool, Don. Not cool at all.