In a round-table on-air discussion, Lemon explains to his White colleagues that nothing good can come from sanitizing the ugliness of the word and the public should hear it unfiltered:
I hate saying ‘the n-word.’ I think it takes the value out of what that word really means. Especially when we’re reporting it. And I don’t care what color the reporter is. I think someone should say, that person called someone ‘nigger,’ instead of saying ‘the n-word,’ because I think it sanitizes it.” Lemon added that he hates the use of the word in music and when it’s used for misogynistic purposes. “What I’m saying is in the reporting of a story, you should say the word,” he said.
As previously reported by Newsone, the latest controversy over the racial slur stems from correspondent Susan Candiotti, who said the word during a live report on the Good Friday shootings in Tulsa Oklahoma. Jake England, 19, along with friend Alvin Watts, 33, targeted and murdered 3 Black men and injured two more. In a Facebook post, England’s resentment towards Black people was clear and Candiotti read the quote verbatim:
Today is two years that my dad has been gone, shot by’ — and please excuse the language, it’s very sensitive — ‘shot by a f—ing [N-word],’” she said.
After Candiotti finished her report, CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield said, “We apologize to our viewers for such profanity being used on our air.” Candiotti later sincerely apologized for repeating the slur during the report:
In quoting someone else’s words, I repeated their offensive and inappropriate language. I deeply regret it,” she said.
This trend towards unfiltered reporting is an excellent development — in theory. It remains to be seen what will happen when racist pseudo-journalists begin advocating for the right to use the word without censor on-air as well under the guise of “reporting.”