By Ran Aubrey Frazier
Originally published on Advocate.com February 19 2014 9:45 PM ET
Out CNN anchor Don Lemon and Gregg Jarrett of Fox News have been having a very public war of words.
A discussion Saturday of the Michael Dunn trial set off the verbal battle. Dunn had been charged with first-degree murder for shooting unarmed African-American teenager Jordan Davis to death after becoming outraged at Davis for playing music loudly; the Florida jury announced Saturday that members could not agree on a verdict on that charge, although they found Dunn guilty of attempted murder for shooting at Davis's companions. Lemon vented on-air on CNN.
“You go over, you start the altercation, and then you can’t deal with it and then you decide to shoot someone, and all of a sudden it’s someone else’s fault that you’re on trial for murder? It’s absolutely ridiculous!” he exclaimed.
Lemon also referenced viewers' social media comments about him, saying, “I know people are saying Don Lemon is pissed on Twitter. Yes, I am pissed! I am absolutely pissed!”
Jarrett blasted Lemon in a series of tweets Sunday, writing, "The sum total of what Lemon knows about the law and this case ... could be written on the head of a pin. And there would be plenty of space left over." In a later tweet, Jarrett labeled Lemon "a pompous, pretentious jerk" for having "the audacity to claim that [he knows] better than these jurors."
Lemon tweeted, "Mind ur business old man," to which Jarrett responded, "'Old Man'? You're right about that. I was trying cases in front of juries when you were in diapers, Don."
The feud escalated when Jarrett denigrated Lemon on Fox News Radio Monday as lacking experience, telling radio host John Gibson that Lemon could “use a measure of maturity.”
“I think he’s the Al Sharpton of CNN,” Jarrett said, referring to the civil rights activist and MSNBC host in an implicitly derogatory manner.
Jarrett also appeared on The Kelly File that evening on Fox, where he continued taking jabs at Lemon. He argued that Lemon had “set aside all measure of objectivity and he acted on-air as judge, jury, and executioner.”
In an appearance on AC360 Monday night, Lemon seemed to throw yet another punch at Jarrett, stating that when he talks about “old white guys, [he's] talking about people who have an old mentality.”
Watch Lemon's initial comments below, then Jarrett on The Kelly File.