Don Lemon Drags PETA: ‘They Should Actually Be Concerned About Homophobia and Racism’

Don Lemon appeared on CNN Thursday evening to let viewers know that he found the idea that Jussie Smollett staged the assault against him to be increasingly credible.On set with Chris Cuomo, Lemon said that if Smollett was guilty he should confess and plead for mercy and forgiveness.“It’s hard to see how this would indeed be a set-up,” Lemon said. “I say if it is true, confess. Throw yourself on the mercy of the court, and of the people, and then see where that leads you.”Also Read: Jussie Smollett 'Feels Betrayed,' Legal System 'Wants to Skip Due Process,' Actor's Reps SayCuomo agreed.“If you screwed up and did this, own it. You want to say why you did it this way, do that, but you’re not helping the cause,” he said. “I’ll tell you that right now, there’s a lot of truth that’s going to get covered up by one untruth.”Also Read: Jussie Smollett Returns to 'Empire' Set After Posting Bail in False Police Report CaseAfter news of the alleged attack was first reported, Lemon swiftly became one of Smollett’s staunchest defenders on air and in private. Earlier this month, he told Entertainment Tonight that he texted Smollett every day after to check up on him.“So every day I say… ‘I know you think I’m annoying you, but I just want to know how you’re doing. And that you’re OK. And that if you need somebody you can talk to me because there’s not a lot of us out there,'” Lemon said. “Sometimes he responds, sometimes he doesn’t. He responded and said, ‘You are not annoying.'”Also Read: See Jussie Smollett's Mug Shot (Photo)Smollett was taken into custody by Chicago police on Thursday and is currently facing a felony charge of filing a false police report. He was released the same day after posting $100,000 bond. In a press conference, Chicago police superintendent Eddie T. Johnson laced into Smollett, saying the “Empire” star fabricated the hate crime because he was unhappy about his salary on the show.“Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Johnson said. “Bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim who is in need of support by police and investigators as well as the citizens of this city … I’m offended by what happened and I am also angry.”For his part, Smollett has continued to profess his innocence.“Today we witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system,” a statement put out on his behalf read. “The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett and notably, on the eve of a Mayoral election. Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing.”Read original story Don Lemon to Jussie Smollett: If Charges Are True, ‘Confess, Throw Yourself on the Mercy of the Court’ At TheWrap

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) came in for mockery on CNN Wednesday evening after hosts Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon joked about a new set of terms the organization rolled out this week that they hoped could replace less animal friendly idioms.

On set, Lemon urged PETA to focus on real issues and derided their claims that “anti-animal” language was comparable to racism or homophobia.

“They should actually be concerned about homophobia and racism,” said Lemon.

Also Read: PETA Rips 'Sad Spectacle' Butterfly Stunt on 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Finale

“PETA should have several seats. That’s one. Is that one up there? PETA does some great work. I’m sure, but, come on. Pick your battles. Really?” he added. “As someone who knows a bit about both of those, come on. Listen, an animal who gets eaten doesn’t get eaten because of their gender.”

Chris Cuomo — who through laughter insisted he wasn’t mocking the animal rights organization — said the issue reflected his problem with political correctness.

“We put too much weight on what we say and not enough on what we do,” said Cuomo. “This is my thing with political correctness.”

“PETA was started by women and members of the LGBTQ community, so many of us have personally felt the sting of thoughtless language,” the organization said in a statement to TheWrap Thursday. “That’s part of why we believe in changing long-used expressions that make us all cringe, like “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” or “kill two birds with one stone”–it’s a fun way to remind people that our words matter.”

Also Read: Surprise! PETA Backs Lars von Trier's Animal Mutilation Scene in 'The House That Jack Built'

On Tuesday, the organization came in for broad mockery over the campaign. 

Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations.

— PETA: Bringing Home the Bagels Since 1980 (@peta) December 4, 2018

“Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations,” PETA said while sharing a chart calling out “anti-animal language.”

Also Read: HBO: Elephants on 'Westworld' Received 'Utmost Care and Respect'

In the chart, PETA identified a number of common idioms which suggested violent language toward animals and instead offered some friendly alternatives.

Instead of “kill two birds with one stone,” the organization suggested “feed two birds with one scone.” Why “bring home the bacon” when you could “bring home the bagels.”

Read original story Don Lemon Drags PETA: ‘They Should Actually Be Concerned About Homophobia and Racism’ At TheWrap