Rapper pitches a royal fit on CNN, engages host in embarrassing, out of control on-air bickering

Talib Kweli A CNN interview with hip hop artist Talib Kweli quickly fell apart when host Don Lemon took exception to the rapper’s criticism of media coverage of the death of Michael Brown.

“I felt it was important to control the narrative because the media has been doing a horrible job of making sure that the stories get out in the right way,” Kweli said.

Lemon disagreed with the charge, pointing out that people have commended his network for “our really great coverage.”

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“I think what you’re speaking about is intentions,” Kweli repled. “Especially an organization like CNN, I don’t think the intention is to not be fair and balanced. But we live in a world that’s run by white supremacy, and that’s the narrative and the language of the oppressors taking over.”

Kweli has been in Ferguson, MO., for several days taking part in protests, and he told Lemon about a CNN story on bottles being thrown — Molotov cocktails aside — saying it was not true “because I was there that night.”

Lemon tried to interrupt to counter the charge and things got heated, with Kweli turning his back on the CNN host and threatening to walk away.

“We don’t have to have an interview if I can’t talk,” he said. “If I can’t talk we don’t have to have an interview.”

Kweli also played the “respect” card — he is a rapper — complaining about how Lemon treated him before the interview.

“I would listen to you if you had the decency to greet me,” Kweli said. “You came up, you didn’t even say nothing to me — you were on your phone the whole time, you asked how to pronounce my name, you have no respect for who I am.”

All of this on live television — talk about embarrassing! And they continue to go at one another, with the rapper threatening again and again to walk off.

Watch the full interview here:

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Tom Tillison


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