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Don Lemon Slammed for Displaying N Word on TV, Asking 'Are You Offended?'

Don Lemon Slammed for Displaying N Word on TV, Asking 'Are You Offended?'


Critics are attacking the controversial CNN anchorman for showing a word on TV most of us won't even say out loud and The Advocate shows here only in context.

Out CNN anchor Don Lemon is no stranger to controversy, but now his use of the n word -- on a sign and from his own mouth Monday -- have made him a target of critics once again.

Lemon, 49, focused a segment of his program on the racial slur that was uttered by President Obama in a recorded interview.

The Advocate is showing the sign without blurring and quoting President Obama saying the word here only to clearly demonstrate what Obama himself said and what Lemon did to promote his cable news program on that topic Monday.

In what the television news industry calls "the tease," a clip advising viewers of the segment to follow a commercial break or appear later in the program, the CNN Tonight host held up a sign with the racial epithet written in large capital letters and then asked viewers whether the word offended them.

Lemon also raised eyebrows by comparing the long-standing controversy around the use of the word with the debate over the Confederate battle flag that is raging across Southern states.

Shortly after, CNN Tonight's social media team sent a tweet that included a link to the video displaying the racial slur:

Another tweet that included the racial slur was sent by a blogger with the handle @CNN Commentary -- who apparently is not affiliated with CNN or the network's social media team, as was previously reported:

Twitter blew up. Out tennis legend Martina Navratilova was just one of the tens of thousands who shared the image and articles about Lemon's stunt.

And Photoshoppers took delight in poking fun at Lemon himself, replacing his sign with one of their own creation:

The signs were preceded earlier in the day by Lemon's heated debate with CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin, who disagreed with him on use of the n word on the air.

This all started with a podcast interview President Obama granted comedian Marc Maron in Los Angeles Sunday, in which he said:

"I always tell young people in particular, 'Do not say that nothing's changed when it comes to race in America unless you lived through being a black man in the 1950s, or '60s, or '70s.'

"What is also true is that the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives: that casts a long shadow. And that's still part of our DNA. That's passed on. We're not cured of it -- racism. We're not cured of it. And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public."

You can listen to Obama's interview in full here.

Watch the argument between Lemon and Hostin on Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room below, and be aware that Lemon uses the epithet in this clip.

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