What began as a discussion about Monica Lewinsky on Thursday quickly escalated into a knockout shouting match over “cheap outrage” between TheBlaze’s Will Cain and CNN’s Don Lemon.
“We are cheap as a society … this is consistent,” Cain, also a CNN contributor, said on CNN’s “Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield.” “We do cheap outrage on TV. We do cheap ‘hashtag activism’ when it comes to the girls with Boko Haram, and this is cheap. [Monica Lewinsky] has been a cheap punchline for too long.”
That’s when a chorus of “whoa, whoa, whoa” began, and Cain reiterated that “putting a tweet up with a hashtag on it” doesn’t mean you did your “duty” today.
“That’s disgusting to say about over 200 girls who were — what do you expect the first lady to do?” Lemon demanded.
Cain seemed surprised, noting that he never even mentioned first lady Michelle Obama, who posted a photo of herself online holding up a sign with the “#BringBackOurGirls” hashtag.
“I said society has gotten cheap,” Cain repeated. “We do cheap outrage on television. We do cheap hashtag activism on Twitter … I didn’t say anything about the first lady, you did.”
That’s when panelist Mel Robbins interjected, “Let me try to save you, Will.”
“I don’t need saving!” Cain responded.
“I think you actually do,” Robbins said, Lemon adding: “On this one, you do.”
Lemon continued to grow increasingly agitated, saying he’s been on television with Cain before and knew Cain’s statement was a “dog whistle” reference to the first lady.
“What have you done?” Lemon shouted. “What did you do for those girls? … besides sit here on television and criticize other people’s efforts, if you’re so concerned about it, what have you done?”
Shaking his head, Cain reminded the audience that the “only person that invoked the first lady today was Don Lemon,” but he appreciates Lemon acting as his “interpreter.”
“Well, you need one. You’re welcome,” Lemon shot back.
That’s when Banfield shouted down her panelists, saying: “We are a family and a family we will remain. It’s like ‘Duck Dynasty,’ folks! Right here.”
“I’m not part of that family!” Lemon said with disgust. “Don’t include me in that over there … that’s a family I’m not interested in.”
Watch the complete clip via CNN, below:
The discussion of “hashtag activism” also took center stage on MSNBC’s “The Cycle” Thursday, but when Cosmopolitan’s Jill Filipovic presented the same theory as TheBlaze’s Will Cain, the panelists were much more understanding.
Co-host Toure actually agreed that “hashtag activism” is a cheap replacement for true activism.
“When we get to know about this via Twitter, and get to feel like, ‘Well, I liked that Facebook page …,’ it lulls you to sleep,” he said. “This is not real activism. You feel like, ‘I contributed. I did something. I’m a good person. I can feel good about myself,’ when actually all you did is make a teeny, tiny noise in a teeny, tiny community. You didn’t actually affect the decision-making apparatus.”
Watch the complete clip via MSNBC, below:
This post has been updated.