CNN Don Lemon looked like he wanted to crawl under his desk and hide Sunday night during his interview with conservative Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke about the ambush and shooting of police officers and sheriff deputies in Baton Rogue earlier in the day.
Clarke, who has become a leading voice in defending police officers in America and criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement, proved within 60 seconds to Lemon that he wasn't going to let him get away with using his mainstream media platform to push his liberal ideology. Throughout the interview, Lemon vacillated between stumbling around verbally and speaking to Clarke as if he were a child as Lemon tried to keep up with Clarke and defend Black Lives Matter.
Here are some highlights from the incredible 10-minute exchange:
Lemon: I spoke to the heads of the sheriff department, police department, and state police down there, and they told me...that their message is of peace and coming together in the country. What is your message?
Clarke: Pfft. You don't believe that for one minute, do you?
Lemon: That's what they said to me. Yeah, I believe them.
Clarke: Any protests over the deaths of these cops today in Baton Rouge?
Lemon: I don't know. I don't know that.
Clarke: Any or riots or protests over the deaths of these police officers in Dallas? My message has been clear from day 1, two years ago. This anti-cop sentiment from this hateful ideology called Black Lives Matter has fueled this rage against the American police officer.
Lemon tried to throw doubt on whether Black Lives Matter had any influence on the Baton Rogue shooter.
Clarke: I predicted this. This anti-cop sweeping the country had turned out some hateful things inside of people that are now playing themselves out on the American police officer.
Clarke then talked about the epidemic of black-on-black violence across the United States and how it's not being focused on.
Clarke: Is there any reporting on that?
Lemon: Sheriff, please, let's just keep the volume down on this."
Clarke: I'm looking at three dead cops this week and I'm looking at five last week, and you're trying to tell me to keep it down?!
Lemon: Please, we can keep it civil. The message for people at home, I'm sure you want, is one of civility.
Clarke: I wish you had that message of civility toward this hateful ideology.
Lemon: What it sounds like to me is that you're accusing me of violence in supporting a narrative that I'm not necessarily in support of. If that's what you're accusing me of, you're welcome to leave.
Clarke: Let me ask you this, do we know that generally the American law enforcement officers are racist? Do we know this?
Lemon (after staring blankly): Is that a rhetorical—do I know that in general law enforcement officer are racist? If you're insinuating that people are saying that law enforcement across this country as a whole are racist, then your assumption is wrong.
Clarke: Let's go back to where this whole thing started in Ferguson, Missouri. The lie was "Hands up, don't shoot." There's where this whole phony [Black Lives Matter] movement started.
Lemon: You would need to speak to someone who is a member of Black Lives Matter about whether they have perpetrated a fraud on the American people. That's up to Black Lives Matter. That's not me. I'm neither a member of Black Lives Matter. I'm neither a supporter or someone who doesn't support them.
Clarke (smirking): Yeah...
Lemon: I simply report on Black Lives Matter.
Clarke: Do you condemn the anti-police rhetoric coming from this hateful ideology?
Lemon: As a journalist sitting here on television, I don't have to condemn anything.
Clarke: Well, I do. I condemn them just like I condemn the hateful ideology out of groups like the KKK. There is no place in American discourse for that sort of vile, vitriolic hate coming out of this ideology. This has fueled and fanned the flames of this anger toward the American police officer.
Then Clarke dropped a real bombshell.
Clarke: There is only one group in America that truly cares about the lives of black people in these urban ghettos, and it's the American police officer who goes down there on a daily basis and puts their lives on line to protect — who? Black people. Let's have a conversation about the black-on-black crime, which kills more black males, which is more of threat to any black male in the united states than a law enforcement officer.
Clarke continued to ask Lemon questions, but Lemon didn't like Clarke interviewing him instead him interviewing Clarke and abruptly ended the show segment.